R&B singer Emani 22, whose real name was Emani Johnson, was reported dead at the age of 22, though the cause of death has not been revealed.
Family has yet to comment on what happened, but The Sun alleged that rumors were circulating online that she was involved in a potential car accident. Her record producer, J Maine, confirmed her passing to People, shocked over the young singer‘s passing.
“Emani 22 was a wonderful individual that literally brightened up any room she was in,” J Maine said. “I worked on music with her, and helped her put together her last project which was ‘The Color Red.’ The way we worked together was effortless, we just understood each other.”
“It hurts so bad to know that the last time I saw her was the last time I’d ever see her again,” he continued. “I considered her to be like a little sister to me. She will be missed and never forgotten, and I’ll always think about the great times we had hanging out.”
Best known for her singles “Feelings” and “Inside,” off of her 2020 debut project The Color Red, her music videos garnered over 300,000 views on YouTube. Emani Johnson amassed an impressive 155,000 followers on Instagram as well, including megastar DJ Diplo.
Emani Johnson was also a collaborator on rapper Trippie Redd’s 2018 record, A Love Letter to You 3, where she appeared on two tracks– “Fire Starter” and her own “Emani Interlude.” Trippie Redd’s A Love Letter to You 3 was the top R&B/Hip-Hop album on the Billboard music charts the week of its release, with over 108 million streams.
“This doesn’t even feel real,” she wrote. “I used to spend almost everyday with you. You taught me so many things. You are my inspiration for many things (hair, nails, style, etc).”
“My big sister,” Bhad Bhabie said, “I’m gonna miss you so much.”
Friends and musicians took to social media after Bhad Bhabie made the announcement as well, offering their condolences to their fallen friend and contemporary.
“Rest in heaven babygirl,” said singer S3nsi Molly.
A long-time friend of Emani Johnson’s, who goes by @Alannatheballer on Instagram, wrote a long, heart-filled message to Emani, writing that her “heart hurts so bad.”
“I love you so much emani, i’m so sorry this happened to you,” she wrote. “You didn’t deserve this at all! you were such a light to so many of us. thank you for always being so loving and kind to me. you always went above and beyond for me and always looked out for me.”
“I always knew she would blow up because of how beautiful and good her voice was. She even wrote me a song last year and it meant the world to me,” her friend continued. “Thank you so much for always making me smile. thank you for always uplifting me and supporting me… i love & miss you so much emani. we will always keep your memory alive❤️22 forever.”
Another friend of Emani Johnson’s who goes by @babygoth on Instagram, posted a tribute with the message “Rest In Peace angel.”
“I can’t believe this is real,” she wrote. “You were there for me since the beginning. We went thru so much together. I cant believe you’re gone. You were a beacon in the dark and you had so so much more to give this world this is so unfair. I love you and I’ll miss you Emani.”