Teen rapper Lil Tay breaks silence saying reports of her death have been 'traumatising'
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Teen rapper Lil Tay has described her experience this week as 'traumatising' after a statement emerged online claiming she had died at the age of 14.
The social media star rose to fame when she was just nine-years-old, and went on to garner more than 3.3 million followers on Instagram.
She last posted on the platform in June 2018, but on Wednesday (9 June) a post appeared on her page which read: "It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing."
The post appeared to refer to Lil Tay, and went on to claim that not only had she passed away, but that her brother had as well.
"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," the statement continued.
"Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her.”
The news made headlines and prompted shock from fans, but questions about whether Lil Tay really had died soon began to emerge as other members of her family declined to confirm the news.
Around 24 hours later, Lil Tay herself released a statement to confirm that no, she was not dead. It's currently unclear why it took a day for the influencer to speak out.
Speaking to TMZ, she said: "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."
At 14 years old, Lil Tay described how tough the whole ordeal had been for her, and recalled having to reassure loved ones as the news of her death continued to spread.
"It’s been a very traumatising 24 hours," she said. "All day yesterday, I was bombarded with endless heartbreaking and tearful phone calls from loved ones all while trying to sort out this mess."
Lil Tay indicated her Instagram account was hacked, saying it was 'compromised by a 3rd party and used to spread jarring misinformation and rumours regarding me'.
In spite of the alleged hacker's efforts, however, Lil Tay pointed out that the statement about her apparent death didn't even use her correct name, saying: "My legal name is Tay Tian, not 'Claire Hope'."
The influencer added that she has since regained control of the Instagram account, and that the death statement has now been removed.