Who is Lil Tay, the 14-year-old social media star who died along with her brother? – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Who is Lil Tay, the 14-year-old social media star who died along with her brother?

The world was shocked to learn of the tragic death of Lil Tay, the 14-year-old rapper and internet sensation. On August 9, 2023, her family took to Instagram to share the heartbreaking news, but they did not disclose any information about the circumstances surrounding her and her older brother Jason’s passing. This announcement came as a surprise to fans, as Lil Tay had been absent from social media since 2018, around the same time she was ordered to live with her father due to allegations of abuse and control.

Before Lil Tay rose to fame, she was just a young girl with a passion for dancing. She started taking ballet classes at the age of 4 and even participated in competitions at the Royal Ballet Academy. In addition to ballet, she also studied Chinese, singing, and piano, and took lessons in skating, swimming, and art.

Lil Tay gained popularity at the age of nine through skits on Instagram, where she would flaunt large sums of money and showcase exotic cars that she claimed to have purchased herself. In one video, she boldly declared, “This cost me $200,000. I’m only 9 years old. Your favorite rapper ain’t even doing it like Lil Tay.” Her final Instagram post before her death was a tribute to rapper XXXTentacion, whom she considered a father figure.

Lil Tay’s parents played a significant role in her rise to fame. Her father, Christopher John Hope, worked as a lawyer in Vancouver, while her mother, Angela Tian, was a real estate agent. However, Tian lost her job after her involvement in Lil Tay’s profanity-laden videos was revealed. In 2018, Lil Tay was court-ordered to live with her father, who took legal steps to protect her well-being. During this time, her social media activity was restricted, explaining her absence from Instagram.

Lil Tay had an older half-brother named Jason Tian, who helped her create her videos and even wrote the scripts for her. In 2021, Jason created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money and allegedly save his sister from an abusive situation. He claimed that their father and his wife had physically and mentally abused Lil Tay, and that Christopher Hope was attempting to gain full control of her career and custody.

On August 9, 2023, Lil Tay’s family announced on her Instagram account that she and her brother Jason had tragically passed away. The statement expressed the family’s profound grief and asked for privacy as they mourned their unimaginable loss. The circumstances surrounding their deaths were still under investigation, and no further details were provided.

The untimely death of Lil Tay has left a void in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. Her impact as a social media star will always be remembered, and the mystery surrounding her shocking death continues to captivate the public.

Lil Tay, teen rapper and internet sensation, died at the age of 14.

Her family announced the shocking news via Instagram on Aug. 9, 2023, but did not disclose any details about how she and her older brother, Jason, passed away.

Fans were astonished to hear about the teen’s death, as she hadn’t posted anything on social media since 2018 — around the time she was court-ordered to live with her father, who she claimed was abusive and controlling.


Find out more about the social media star and the mystery surrounding her shocking death.

Who was Lil Tay?

Lil Tay standing in a G Wagon.
Lil Tay was a rapper and viral internet sensation.

Before Tay — born Claire Hope — became a well-known figure, she was just a young girl who loved to dance.

She took ballet classes from the young age of 4 and participated in Royal Ballet Academy competitions, according to the Cut.

Tay also studied Chinese, singing and piano and took skating, swimming and art lessons.

How did Lil Tay become famous?

Lil Tay holding a stack a cash to her ear.
The young internet star would flaunt wads of cash and show off exotic cars she claimed to have bought.

Tay rose to fame at the age of nine from doing skits on Instagram where she would talk trash and throw stacks of cash while showing off her luxurious life.

In one of her Instagram videos from March 2018, the then-9-year-old sent a message to her “broke ass haters” while holding a fan of 100 dollar bills and sitting in a red sports car.

“This s–t cost me $200,000,” she said in the clip as she got into the exotic car. “I’m only 9 years old. I ain’t got no license but I still drive this sports car, bitch.

“Your favorite rapper ain’t even doing it like Lil Tay.”

Lil Tay on FaceTime with XXXTentacion.
Her last post was a tribute to rapper XXXTentacion in 2018 after he was shot and killed.

In her final Instagram post before her death announcement, Tay mourned the death of rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed in June 2018.

“X you truly changed me ❤️,” she captioned the post of a screenshot of her on FaceTime with the “Hope” emcee. “you were there for me when everyone wanted me to fail, you were there to give me advice, you were there.”

Tay also referred to XXXTentacion as a “father figure” who would FaceTime and call her “for hours when I’m down.”

“I can’t believe this, the evil in the world, This isn’t good Bye I Love you Bro ❤️💔😔😢❤️,” she concluded.

Tay’s Instagram account has amassed more than three million followers, while her YouTube account has garnered more than 220,000 subscribers.

Who were Lil Tay’s parents?

Lil Tay and her father, Christopher John Hope.
Christopher John Hope worked as a lawyer in Vancouver.
Christopher John Hope/facebook

Tay was born to dad Christopher John Hope and mom Angela Tian.

When the young girl started gaining notoriety, she was living with her mom, a Vancouver real estate agent. However, Tay’s profanity-laden videos later cost Tian her job after it was revealed that she was involved in helping her daughter create the viral skits.

“As of last week Angela is no longer attached with our firm,” Jim Lew, director of business development for Pacific Place Group, confirmed to the Verge in an email in 2018.

“Our firm does not condone this type of behavior and has no place for this in our business.”

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In June 2018, Tay was court-ordered to live with her father, who worked as a lawyer, in Vancouver.

“When my daughter’s social media began to go viral this year, I disagreed with most of the social media activity. I took legal steps to stop things which I felt were dangerous to her physical and mental health and to her future,” Christopher told Hollywood Life in October 2018.

Lil Tay's mom, Angela Tian.
Tay’s mom, Angela Tian, was fired from her job as a real estate agent after they learned of her involvement in her daughter’s viral videos.
good morning america

“I do not think a 10-year-old girl should be put in those situations and made to drop out of school so that she can make money for other people.” 

Christopher, who was allegedly an absentee father, reportedly banned Tay from social media while she was living with him, which is why there hadn’t been any activity on her Instagram since 2018.

However, the attorney told HollywoodLife at the time that his daughter would be returning to the spotlight under a rebranded image that he approved.

Who was Lil Tay’s brother?

Jason Tian holding a red cup.
Tay’s older brother, Jason Tian, helped her create her videos.
the zeus network

Tay had one sibling, an older half-brother named Jason Tian.

Before his sister became famous, Jason reportedly tried to make it as a rapper under the stage name Rycie, per the US Sun.

When his rap career didn’t take off, he helped Tay develop her internet persona — even writing what she was going to say in her videos.

In May 2018, a video emerged on Twitter of Jason coaching his sister, telling her to be “more ignorant” when speaking in her videos.

After fans caught wind of the family’s scheme, Tay’s YouTube and Instagram accounts were both scrubbed.

In 2021, Jason created a GoFundMe account in order to raise $19,000 to allegedly “save Tay from a life of abuse.”

Lil Tay in a tub of money.
Jason created a GoFundMe in 2021 to raise money for his sister to allegedly save her “from a life of abuse.”

On the site, he shared images of Tay’s bruised face, alleging that her dad, Christopher, and his wife, Hanee Hope, had “physically and mentally abused her.”

Jason claimed that Christopher was trying to “permanently gain control” of Tay’s career and gain full custody of her.

“My sister Tay has been silent on social media for the past 3 years because her absentee father (Chris Hope) served my mother a court order demanding control over Tay’s money, career, and custody, and as a result it was court ordered that my sister had to return to Vancouver, Canada,” he alleged.

Jason also claimed that Christopher had “requested a court order to prevent” Tay from “speaking out about the truth.”

Jason alleged that Tay’s dad had “stolen millions of dollars” from his sister and had “spent millions” on himself and his wife on a “new mansion, speed boat, nice cars, trips to spas, salons, fancy restaurants, trips to Egypt, Dubai, Mexico, Philippines, Hawaii, the UK, Paris, designer clothing and jewelry/watches.”

When did Lil Tay die?

A screenshot of Lil Tay's death announcement.
Tay’s family announced on Instagram on Aug. 9, 2023, that she and her brother, Jason, had died.

On Aug. 9, 2023, Tay’s family announced on her official Instagram account that she and her brother, Jason, had sadly passed away.

“We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribably pain. This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock,” the statement read.

“Her bother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief. 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 concluded, “Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her.”

No other details about the singlings’ deaths had been released at that time.

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