Hip-Hop Legend Mister Cee Dead at 57

The New York radio DJ worked with artists including Big Daddy Kane and The Notorious B.I.G.

Longtime New York radio personality DJ Mister Cee has died. Hot 97, the hip-hop radio station where he worked for 21 years and became known as the host of the "Throwback at Noon" show, confirmed the passing of the legendary DJ, real name Calvin LeBrun, in a statement Wednesday, citing family. A cause of death was not disclosed. Mister Cee was 57.

"As a family at HOT 97 and WBLS, we're deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Mister Cee. He wasn't just a DJ. He was a pillar of our stations, bringing joy to countless listeners with his legendary 'Throwback at Noon' and 'Friday Night Live' sets," the statement began. "Mr. Cee's influence stretched far beyond the airwaves, shaping the very fabric of NYC's DJ culture. Our hearts are heavy as we send our love and condolences to his family and the fans whose lives he touched through his music. Rest easy, Mr. Cee. Your legacy will live forever."

Born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York in 1966, Mister Cee started DJing at an early age. After attending high school with future rap legend Big Daddy Kane, per BET, Mister Cee eventually went on to became Kane's official DJ when he released his 1988 debut album, Long Live the Kane. He also served as the subject of the album's penultimate track, "Mister Cee's Master Plan." The pair continued to work together through the early '90s, with the DJ earning credits on 1989's It's a Big Daddy Thing, 1990's Taste of Chocolate, 1991's Prince of Darkness, and 1993's Looks Like a Job For...., Pitchfork reports. In a social media tribute, Big Daddy Kane shared a throwback photo of the two, writing, "NO WORDS!!!"

Also known as "The Finisher," Mister Cee was also well-known for his work with The Notorious B.I.G., who he discovered after being introduced to Biggie by friend DJ 50 Grand. The two collaborated on Biggie's debut album Ready to Die in 1994, with Mister Cee recalling last year, "I knew he was dope. I didn't think he would become what he would before passing away."

Mister Cee's career eventually led him to New York's popular hip-hop radio station Hot 97 (WQHT-FM, 97.1), where he notably served as host of "Throwback at Noon." Cee also co-hosted The Beat 102.7 in Grand Theft Auto IV, along with DJ Green Lantern.

Following news of his passing, Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "we have lost the iconic Mister Cee. I listened to him yesterday and am in complete shock. He was a dear friend to all of us, a wonderful man, and one of the most important and impactful DJs of all time. I love you Cee." The Hip Hop Museum also paid tribute, writing that the legendary DJ "quickly mesmerized audiences with his impeccable blending of beats and innovative scratching techniques" and commending what they called "an extraordinary career that spanned almost four decades."