WorldStarHipHop founder Lee O’Denat, better known as Q, reportedly died in his sleep on Monday night (Jan. 23). He was 43.
TMZ was the first to report Q’s passing. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but it is believed that he died from a heart attack. An autopsy is scheduled for later today.
Q founded WorldStar in 2005 and since then, the company has grown from a mixtape site into what The New York Times described as “YouTube filtered through the lens of hip-hop culture.”
With profound sadness, WorldStarHipHop and its employees, state that Lee ODenat, known as “Q”, the founder, leader and genius behind the website and brand has passed in San Diego. Q was a brilliant businessman who championed urban culture, ultimately creating the largest hiphop website in the world. But more than that, he was a devoted father and one of the nicest, most generous persons to ever grace this planet. We will miss his hearty laugh and warm spirit. WorldStarHipHop will continue in its various endeavors. We ask that you remember Q in your prayers and raise a toast to the sky in his name.
In 2015, Q spoke to the newspaper about his rise to online prominence. “They think it’s luck,” he said. “I don’t believe in luck. It’s hard work. Luck is when you get a scratch-off lotto and win five bucks, man. That’s luck.”
According to The New York Times profile, O’Denat is survived by three young children.
The hip-hop community took to social media to mourn his passing. “BLESS UP @qworldstar! You are amazing!” wrote DJ Khaled. “You are a inspiration to all of us. Thank you for always supporting me from day 1 on everything I have been apart of .. every time I see you I make sure I thank you ! My prayers go out to you 👑and your family.”
— DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) January 24, 2017
— SEAN KINGSTON © (@SeanKingston) January 24, 2017
R.I.P. Q (owner of @WORLDSTAR) prayers up for the family
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) January 24, 2017