South African rapper Riky Rick tragically took his life just hours after posting a cryptic tweet saying he will ‘return stronger’.
He was 34.
Rick, whose real name was Rikhado Muziwendlovu Makhado was confirmed dead by his family on Wednesday morning.
He leaves behind his wife Bianca Naidoo and two children, as well as his mother and five siblings.
A statement on behalf of the family read: ‘The family of South African artist Riky Rick with profound sadness this afternoon confirmed his untimely passing.
‘Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky ‘Ricky’ Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (February 23) in Johannesburg.
‘Affectionately known as Riky Rick across the globe, he was deeply loved by his family, friends and the entire entertainment industry.
‘His love for family, friends, and community is well known.
‘Riky’s nurturing and developing of young musical talent is well documented and will forever be remembered.’
The family have asked for privacy and for fans to keep them in their prayers, adding: ‘The family are also deeply thankful for and appreciate the countless messages of love and support received, These are felt deeply.’
News of his death follows a tweet posted to his 1.5 million followers which read: ‘I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home.’
Rick rose to prominence in 2014 with his hit single Nafukwa, before releasing his debut studio album, Family Values, the following year.
The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) with sales of 50 000 units.
Riky Rick endured a long battle with depression
On 24 April 2016, his single ‘Sondela’, featuring Zano was released. On 28 October 2016, his major debut single ‘Boss Zonke’ was released, which peaked at No 3 on the SA Hip Hop Top Ten List. In June 2016, his single ‘Sidlukotini’ was released.
He released his last major single, ‘Forever’ with Frank Casino, last year.
In 2020, Rick revealed he had a long battle with depression following the death of his father.