Who died of a heart attack aged just 44...
Scott Colothan
10:18 17th November 2009

Stars from the music world have paid tribute to rapper Derek B who died of a heart attack aged just 44.

British hip-hop artist Ty – real name Ben Chijioke – told BBC news: "He broke the door down. "He was one of the first artists that I saw get to such a level through rap, and be on 'Top of the Pops,' be on children's programs, be on the world stage.

“He was one of the ones to do it first, when it was thoroughly unacceptable from the mainstream perspective. At the time, he was absolutely groundbreaking. He definitely broke the door down."

Writing on Twitter, Estelle linked to Derek B's track 'Get Down' and wrote: “RIP DEREK B. UK originator.”

DJ Zane Lowe left a message in homage to B's album 'Bullet From a Gun', Tweeting:  “Oh man. Derek B was a massive album for me. Sad day.”

Derek B – full name Derek Boland - was one of the first rappers to achieve mainstream success in the UK and appeared on Top of the Pops in the late 80's at a time when hip-hop was largely ignored.

He enjoyed two top 20 hits in the UK – 1988's 'Good Groove' and 'Bad Young Brother' – plus helped write the infamous Liverpool FC anthem the 'Anfield Rap'.

Derek B - 'Bad Young Brother'