By Gina Martinez
Lee O’Denat, the Hollis-born founder of the popular website WorldStarHipHop, died at age 43.
O’Denat died in San Diego Monday due to heart disease, according to the medical examiner.
Known simply as “Q,” O’Denat founded the popular website in 2005. WorldStar is one of the most visited urban websites, reportedly averaging a million visitors a day. The site features hip-hop music videos, viral fights and comedy clips that are incredibly popular with urban youth.
The site inspired the trend of yelling “WorldStar!” during fights, which were often recorded and sent in to the website. The site has also been the center of controversy since its inception, often for featuring content many consider tasteless and for using copyrighted material without credit. In 2009 Jamaica rapper 50 Cent won a lawsuit against O’Denat for using his image without permission.
A TV show based on the site is set to premiere next month on MTV2.
WorldStarHipHop confirmed O’Denat’s death with a post on it’s official Instagram page.
“Q was a brilliant businessman who championed urban culture, ultimately creating the largest hip-hop website in the world,” the statement read “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. WorldStar Hip Hop 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.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart