Lil Tay has been confirmed to be alive and well after a death hoax sent her fans and family members into a tailspin. The 14-year-old rapper and social media personality clarified on Thursday, August 10, that her Instagram account had been hacked.
"I want to make it clear that my brother and I are safe and alive, but I’m completely heartbroken, and struggling to even find the right words to say. It’s been a very traumatizing 24 hours," Tay and her family said in a statement.
"All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess," the statement continued. "My Instagram account was compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumors regarding me, to the point that even my name was wrong. My legal name is Tay Tian, not Claire Hope."
This shocking update comes one day after someone who claimed they were related to the young artist shared a somber message to her official Instagram account claiming that she'd passed away.
"It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire's sudden and tragic passing," the since-deleted post read. "We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain."
"This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock. Her brother's passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief," the post continued. "During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother's passing are still under investigation."
However, fans, former colleagues and the media quickly questioned the legitimacy of the post. At least two news outlets contacted both the Vancouver Police — where Tay's family is from — as well as the L.A.P.D., but neither organization had any record of the alleged deaths.
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The rapper's former manager, Harry Tsang, also said he was unable to "definitively confirm or dismiss" the statement. "This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved," he added at the time.
TMZ reported Tay's statement.