South African Rapper Costa Titch Dies after Collapsing on Stage at Ultra Music Festival

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Footage circulating on social media appeared to show Costa falling on stage before being lifted up by someone beside him. He then gets up for several seconds before apparently collapsing to the floor.

South African rapper Costa Titch has died after collapsing on stage during a performance at a music festival in Johannesburg, his family confirmed on social media Sunday.

The 28-year-old, whose real name was Constantinos Tsobanoglou, died in hospital after stumbling and then appearing to lose consciousness while performing on Saturday evening at the Ultra Music Festival at the Nasrec Expo Centre.

“Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother, and grandson,” Costa’s family said in a post on his Instagram. “It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time.”

The family thanked “emergency responders and all those present in his last hours,” adding: “As a family, we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves.

“The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit. Please keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”

The statement did not mention a cause of death.

The festival where Costa was performing, Ultra South Africa, said it was “devastated” by the 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,” it said.

Costa, who originally began as a backup dancer before launching his career as a rapper, was a growing sensation in South Africa and one of the biggest stars of amapiano, a style of music characterised by deep house, log-drum driven basslines, and soulful piano melodies.

His 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 on a remix of “Big Flexa”.

Costa’s death comes a month after his friend and collaborator, fellow South African rapper Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, was killed in a shooting.