NEW YORK CITY -- Hip-hop pioneer DJ Kay Slay has died at 55 after a four-month battle with COVID-19, Hot 97 and his family confirmed Monday.
The record executive, whose real name was Keith Grayson, passed away Sunday evening.
"Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally known as DJ Kay Slay," his family said in a statement. "A dominant figure in Hip Hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations. In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family wishes to thank all of his friends, fans, and supporters for their prayers and well wishes during this difficult time. We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve this tragic loss."
Grayson also worked as disc jockey.
"Hot 97 is shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved DJ Kay Slay," Hot 97 said in a statement. "We cherish the many memories created through the 20-plus years he dedicated to the 'Drama Hour.' A cultural icon, Kay Slay was more than just a DJ, to us he was family and a vital part of what made Hot 97 the successful station it is today. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and fans worldwide and we will always and forever celebrate The Drama King's legacy."