South African rapper Costa Titch died suddenly this weekend, his family said on Instagram, hours after performing at a music festival.
The musician, whose real name is Constantinos Tsobanoglou, was 28.
Footage circulating on social media appeared to show Tsobanoglou fall over on stage before being lifted up by someone beside him. Tsobanoglou then gets up for several seconds before apparently collapsing.
“It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time,” Tsobanoglou’s family said in a post on his Instagram. “We are thankful for those emergency responders and all those present in his last hours.”
The statement did not mention a cause of death.
The festival where he was performing, Ultra South Africa, said it was “devastated” by the young rapper’s death.
“Costa was a galvanizing voice amongst South Africa’s amapiano scene – a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend to the festival,” the statement read.
Tsobanoglou was a growing sensation in South Africa and one of the biggest stars of amapiano, a style of music characterized by deep house, log-drum driven basslines and soulful piano melodies. His rap style combines South Africa’s culture, style and indigenous languages with international rap sub-genres like trap music, which originated in Atlanta’s thriving hip hop scene.
Tsobanoglou was born in Nelspruit in northeastern South Africa and had already had a successful career in dance before becoming a rapper.
Tsobanoglou’s song “Big Flexa” made him a star across Africa after it became successful on TikTok. The rapper had recently partnered with a music label started by Senegalese-American musician Akon, who was featured featured on a remix of “Big Flexa.”
Tsobanoglou’s death comes a month after his friend and collaborator, fellow rapper AKA, was killed in a shooting.
CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report