Loose Women Anchor Charlene White Voices Disappointment Over How Jamal Edwards' Death Was Announced

"It was not fair in any shape or form."

Charlene White has voiced her disappointment over the way the death of her friend and Loose Women colleague Brenda Edwards’ son Jamal was announced in the media.

On Sunday night, reports that the SB.TV founder had died at the age of 31 began circulating on social media, which were eventually confirmed by his management and, the following morning, by his mum Brenda.

In a statement posted on Loose Women’s social media, Brenda said: “It is with deepest heartache that I confirm that my beautiful son Jamal Edwards passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness.

“Myself, his sister Tanisha and the rest of his family and friends are completely devastated. He was the centre of our world.

“As we come to terms with his passing, we ask for privacy to grieve this unimaginable loss. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of love and support.”

At the beginning of Monday morning’s Loose Women, Charlene explained that “things are slightly different”, with Judi Love joining the show as a fifth panellist.

“As you can see things are slightly different on Loose Women today and that is, of course, because of the devastating news that we had yesterday,” Charlene said. “And that was our Brenda’s son, Jamal Edwards, tragically passed away from a short illness.

“Many of you who regularly watch the show know that the love Brenda had for both Jamal and her daughter Tanisha was massive. Her heart was full of so much love for those children. So you know just how shocked Brenda is and how hard it has hit all of us who knew Jamal and all of us who love Brenda.”

Charlene then shared that she and Judi had gone to Brenda’s house on Sunday evening when they heard about Jamal’s death.

“I think people see us on Loose Women and the rest of it, and we get on with each other on stage, but it’s so much bigger than that, the friendships that we build outside and the support that we give each other in different areas of our lives,” Judi said.

“And this area… if I’m honest, I don’t want to be here doing this. I don’t want to have to do this, but we have to. It’s heartbreaking. All we can do is try and do the best to support Brenda, and honour her amazing son in such a difficult time. We just wanted to be there for her yesterday.”

Charlene then read out Brenda’s statement on air, but before she did, she shared her upset that the former X Factor singer had not been able to confirm the news herself before it was made public.

Jamal Edwards, who has died at the age of 31
Jamal Edwards, who has died at the age of 31
David M. Benett via Getty Images

“The opportunity to share Brenda’s loss and the family’s loss, that was taken away from Brenda because of various people on social media who decided to tell Brenda’s story and to tell Jamal’s story without consulting Brenda,” she said. “It was not fair in any shape or form.

“I understand, and we understand a lot of Jamal’s incredible work was done through social media and done online and all of those things. He is a powerhouse. He changed the UK music scene – one man changed the UK music scene in a way we’ve not seen for generations. He was huge.

“But what people have to understand is there is work life and there’s family life and there is home life. And it should have been Brenda was that able to choose when she wanted the world to know about her loss and that was taken away from her.”

At the end of the show, Loose Women aired a clip from an appearance Jamal made on the show last year.

“Look at what Brenda did,” a tearful Charlene said afterwards.“I think for any parent, raising children anywhere in the country is hard. To do it on your own is even harder, and to do it in big cities like London is so, so hard. And I’m immensely proud of the mother that she is, and what she produced in both Jamal and Tanisha.

“And Jamal’s impact will keep going on. It will be felt for years and years to come, because that is the man that he was.”

Charlene White paying her respects to Jamal Edwards
Charlene White paying her respects to Jamal Edwards

Following Jamal’s death, tributes began flooding social media from those who knew him, worked with him and were inspired by his work.

Jamal was still a teenager when he set up SB.TV, the youth broadcasting and production film channel, which would go on to help launch the careers of countless artists including Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J.

Speaking to PA after being made an MBE, he said he started SB.TV to give his friends a platform.

Jamal Edwards was made an MBE in 2015
Jamal Edwards was made an MBE in 2015
John Stillwell via PA Wire/PA Images

He said: “It was a frustration of going to school and everyone talking about ‘how do we get our videos on MTV?’.

“YouTube was like a year old. I was like ‘I’ve got a camera for Christmas, I’m going to start filming people and uploading it’.

“Everyone was looking at me like ‘what are you doing, like you can compete with these major corporations’, but I think I was early enough to believe that I could make a change.”

In her own statement, Brenda concluded: “Jamal was an inspiration to myself and so many. Our love for him lives on, his legacy lives on.

“Long live Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, PHD.”


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