Singer Ray Jacobs, Known as AUGUST 08, Dead at 31

In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2023

The music world has lost a rising star.

Ray Jacobs, who went by the stage name AUGUST 08, has died, according to his label Def Jam Recordings. He was 31.

"The entire Def Jam family mourns the tragic loss of Ray 'August 08' Jacobs," Def Jam wrote in an Instagram post Aug. 29. "A brilliant songwriter, an accomplished musician and a singular artist, August will remain in our memory as a beloved colleague and friend. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones."

No cause of death has been shared.

Artist collective 88Rising, Jacobs' former management prior to joining Def Jam Recordings, also confirmed his death on Instagram, writing, "It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Ray Jacobs, also known as AUGUST 08."

"RIP August the kindest and most talented genius you will be missed beyond words," 88Rising's Aug. 29 post read. "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."

photosCelebrity Deaths: 2023's Fallen Stars

While thanking Jacobs for "for helping us be brave," 88Rising added, "We will miss you so much, love you August."

Born in South Los Angeles, Jacobs became interested in music through his family. "I first got into music because my cousin in Reako had fruity loops," he told Wonderland Magazine in November 2021, referencing the music software now known as FL Studio, "and I spent the summer at his house making beats for fun and I got hooked."

He released his first songs—titled "Funeral," "Lately" and "Spiral"—in 2018, the same year he joined 88Rising, according to i-D. By 2022, Jhené Aiko picked up on his talents, signing him to Allel Sound, her joint partnership with Def Jam Recordings.

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

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"August is an incredible writer, singer and artist whose music speaks to me on so many levels," Aiko said at the time, per Variety. "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."

Jacobs later featured Aiko on his 2022 track "Water Sign," as well as co-wrote DJ Khaled's "I'm the One" and Wale's "Fashion Week."

Singer Ray Jacobs, Known as AUGUST 08, Dead at 31

Prior to his death, Jacobs released the song "Bruises" on June 16 and had supported Aiko at her Toyota Arena show on Aug. 5. "Thank You everyone who came out last night to see me support my family @jheneaiko !" he wrote Aug. 6. "Hope to see you all soon."

While Aiko has not yet publicly spoken about Jacobs' death, her partner, Big Sean, mourned the loss on his Instagram Story, writing, "can't believe this."

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