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UK Rapper Cadet Dead at 28

Acclaimed rapper Cadet of London, England passed away on Friday night in a car crash on his way to a show.

Cadet, whose real name is Blaine Cameron Johnson, was taking a taxi service out of the city on Friday, his managers told Radio 1 Newsbeat on Saturday morning. He was on his way to Keele University in Staffordshire for a concert when the car he was riding in was hit by a van. He was pronounced dead on the scene in Betley. Johnson was just 28 years old.

Johnson was a rising star in the U.K. rap scene, with many connections to other artists and celebrities, many of whom took to social media to mourn him overnight and into Saturday morning. His cousin, rapper Krept, led the tributes. Krept's duo, Krept and Konan, worked with Cadet often, and their artistic relationship went back to childhood.

"My life will never be the same again," he proclaimed alongside a childhood photo of them together. "I love you and will forever miss you. I can't believe it. I am heartbroken. Rest in peace cuz. You finally started getting the recognition you deserved. Im so proud of you. My left lung. I'm devastated and broken right now."

Johnson's latest single as Cadet, "Advice," was released in October. It featured rising star Deno Driz, and reached number 27 in the U.K. charts, going silver. Deno Driz posted a tribute of his own to his collaborator.

"My bro. You looked after man and made sure I was always good," he wrote. "We went silver, we had one of the biggest U.K. tracks of last year, you were too young and in your prime, we always have love for you. Long Live Blaine, #RIPCADET, The #UnderratedLegend became the legend."

Other stars also mourned the sudden loss, including some outside of the U.K., such as Drake.

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Many fans and industry insiders expected 2019 to be a break-out year for Johnson's career. In a report by the BBC, Radio 1Xtra DJ Nick Bright explained how he believed Cadet was "about to break through." He added that "lots more people have been paying attention to his music."

"It's quite a small scene so when something like this happens everybody within this industry knows it's happened," he went on. "There's no doubt in my mind that he would have been playing at so many different places this summer because he's got so many big songs out at the moment and loads in the pipeline."