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Stars mourn death of 'visionary' music lawyer Richard Antwi

VISIONARY: Music lawyer Richard Antwi

A NUMBER of celebrities in the UK music industry are mourning the loss of 'visionary' music lawyer Richard Antwi, who reportedly passed away yesterday (Feb 11).

Names including rappers Wretch 32, 'Godfather of Grime' Wiley and singer Estelle paid respect on social media following the 'shock' death of the 38-year-old, whose cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Antwi, who many likened to a 'big brother', was credited with launching the careers of many artists that have gone on to achieve chart success, including Lethal Bizzle, Mr Hudson and Melissa Steel.

"I don't think I've cried in long time," Lethal Bizzle wrote in a touching Instagram post this morning (Feb 12). "Thank you for everything you done for me, Richard. You believed in me when no one else did. You were a big part in changing my life around. I dunno where I'd be if Statik didn't introduce us. You're a very special person. The music industry is forever in your debt, you'll be truly missed. Thank u Rich. May your soul rest in peace."

Dumi Oburota, who manages the career of UK rapper Tinie Tempah, wrote: "Today is a sad, sad day. One of our brightest, hardest, articulate , wise, warm and calm leaders of our culture has left us. Richard, you have always - from the jump - been someone I looked up to [and] bounced ideas off. Always the one to call and say well done! Like a big brother.

He added: "There are not many people like you in this world and that's why you are truly going to be missed. My sincere condolences to you and your family. You made us PROUD brother. May your soul rest in perfect peace."

Antwi, an Oxford University graduate, had been praised for his eye for talent spotting and how valiantly he defended his clients.

In his own self-described profile Antwi described himself as a “passionate about music and technology”.

As founder at Full + Bless Management, Antwi specialised in managing talent and ensuring artists were aware of their rights in the music industry.

According to Buzzfeed, Antwi also spent time as a parliamentary researcher Labour peer Paul Boateng.

In a joint venture with EMI Music Publishing and friend BBC 1xtra DJ Twin B, Antwi established record label - Levels Entertainment from which north London rapper Wretch 32 released his second album Black and White album.

Wretch wrote of Richard's death: "King Richard Antwi…The team has lost its big brother our senior our mentor. Death always surprises us & I’m sitting here tryna smile through the tearsas you’ve brought nothing but joy to my life.

"Richard & Twin gave me and Z our 1st record deal. You took us off the street. There was never a dull moment un your presence you told me to be the best to be ambitious & since 2011 we’ve sold ambitious numbers. A true leader and a gentleman thank you for being you. Thank you love you always bro."

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