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AUGUST 08, Def Jam Records Singer and Producer, Dead at 31

The Def Jam Records and 88rising-backed recording artist co-wrote DJ Khaled's "I'm the One," among other songs

Singer, songwriter and producer AUGUST 08 died at age 31 on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles musician was known for collaborating with artists such as DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber and Jhené Aiko, among others, in addition to releasing his own solo music.

The recording artist, who was born Ray Jacobs and also adopted the name August Grant, belonged to the music collective 88rising, which shared news of his death on Instagram.

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Ray Jacobs, also known as AUGUST 08,” 88rising wrote in a statement.


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“RIP August the kindest and most talented genius you will be missed beyond words,” the statement continued. “Thank you for being an amazing mentor and a steadfast friend through all these years. We are forever grateful to you and the joy you brought in every room, through every song. Your energy, guidance and care gave so much inspiration and strength that will be carried on always.”

The post concluded, “Thank you for helping us be brave. We will miss you so much, love you August. 🕊️❤️”

AUGUST 08’s family also confirmed his death on Instagram without disclosing the cause.

The singer-songwriter’s sister shared a tribute, which included a statement from his mother Mena that said, “It is with our deepest sorrow that we announce the death of our beloved son, brother, uncle, singer, song writer, musician and mentor … He will continue to blossom and spread his love through his music.”

In the caption, his sister Blackie wrote, “As we all try to press through understand that we all come here to serve a soul purpose.”

“I find comfort in knowing that my brother lived a full life of abundance. He was able to travel the world, and touch millions of people while fulfilling his soul purpose as a musician,” she continued. “I am proud to have a brother who lives on through music, and I encourage you all to keep streaming his records and telling everyone how great he is.”

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Jacobs was among the writers of the No. 1 hit DJ Khaled song “I’m the One,” which featured Justin Bieber, Quavo, Lil Wayne and Chance the Rapper. He also worked on songs such as Sabrina Claudio’s “Orion’s Belt.”

The R&B singer-songwriter released his debut solo album FATHER in 2018. He followed the project with 2020’s EMOTIONAL CUH and 2022’s Seasick, which was out on Def Jam Recordings and made up of the Towards The Sun and Towards the Moon EPs. ScHoolboy Q, Joji and Jhené Aiko were among features on Seasick.

To coincide with the Towards the Moon EP in summer 2022, Aiko announced she signed the AUGUST 08 to her label Allel Sound, under Def Jam Recordings, according to Variety.

As reported by Variety, Aiko said in a statement at the time of his signing, “August is an incredible writer, singer and artist whose music speaks to me on so many levels… As a fellow Los Angeles native, I am so proud of him. August’s talent, love for songwriting and hands on approach with his art is something I can relate to and have a great amount of respect for. It was a natural evolution of our friendship and musical collaboration to have him become the first artist signed to Allel Sound. I couldn’t be more excited to work with August.”

<p>Scott Dudelson/Getty</p> AUGUST 08

Scott Dudelson/Getty


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The singer most recently released his single “Bruises” in June.

In a 2019 interview with Ones to Watch, he shared, “The most successful to me are the people who are actually on the ground doing this shit."

He also spoke about vulnerability in music in a 2018 interview with DJ Booth. "What I’ve learned is, you have to feel. You’re either going to be happy, or you’re going to be sad, but you have to take time to let those emotions out," the artist shared.

He added, "I want those kids who are out there, who don’t have an outlet, to find an outlet to make themselves feel better because I never had one. I want those kids to find something to make themselves feel special. My high school didn’t have a music program, you know? I really want those kids to look at themselves and say, 'This is what’s gonna make me happy. This is what’s gonna make me feel good about myself.'"

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