Reports of Lil Tay’s death, it turns out, were greatly exaggerated.
The announcement indicated that the false report was due to a hacker.
“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,” Lil Tay said in her statement.
“It’s been a very traumatizing 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.
“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.’”
The original announcement on Instagram has been taken down.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing,” it 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.”
Do you think Lil Tay was involved in the announcement of her death?
The bogus statement also said the girl’s brother, 21-year-old Jason Tian, had died, but it provided no details.
Even as the false report circulated, some sources, including Lil Tay’s former manager, Henry Tsang, expressed doubt as to whether it was true.
Whether Lil Tay was even someone who could be considered an “influencer” also appears open to debate.
While she does have 3.5 million followers on Instagram, the Wikipedia entry for Lil Tay indicated that the child had been something of a flash-in-the-pan, barely even accruing the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.
“In 2018, while claiming to be 9 years old, she became famous online for a period of three months, proclaiming herself to be the ‘youngest flexer of the century,’” the listing read Friday.
“Tay hadn’t been active on Instagram since June 2018, around the time she was caught in the middle of a nasty custody battle between her parents, Angela Tian and Christopher ‘Chris’ Hope,” Page Six reported Thursday.
The CBC said Lil Tay described herself as “‘the youngest flexer [showing off brand name items] of the century,’ who escaped poverty by ‘moving bricks,’ slang for selling drugs.”
The news outlet said the girl had millions of followers on social media sites that featured her swearing, boasting and insulting her viewers.
The CBC described one video in which she flashed a large wad of cash as she sat in a red convertible, proclaiming, “This … cost me $200,000. I’m only 9 years old, I ain’t got no [license] but I still drive this sports car, b****!”
In other videos, the girl bragged “about smoking drugs, having a toilet that ‘costs more than your rent’ and owning multiple houses.”
More than one person on social media suggested the death rumor might have been manufactured to put her back in the limelight.
“I’m thinking it’s a publicity stunt because i didn’t know who she was before this and i kinda wish i still didn’t,” remarked one user on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The post was accompanied by a video of the girl bragging about buying a Lamborghini, taunting, “Y’all b****es can’t afford this s***, OK?” and flaunting a large stack of money while calling her audience “broke-a** haters.”
WARNING: The following video contains language that some may find offensive.
So Lil Tay is saying her social media was hacked and she is in fact not dead.
I’m thinking it’s a publicity stunt because i didn’t know who she was before this and i kinda wish i still didn’t pic.twitter.com/LwSkxkgZ2Q
— V (@littlemykonos) August 10, 2023
The announcement denying her death “did little to assuage fears about Lil Tay’s health and safety, especially considering ominous reports over the years detailing a bitter custody battle over her and rumors that she was being abused and exploited by family members,” the New York Post reported.
Rolling Stone reported the death announcement “coincides with the launch of a crypto project in her name, which appears to be led by her manager, Harry Tsang.”