WorldStarHipHop Founder Lee O'Denat, aka Q, Dies at 43

Lee O'Denat at Jamaica Colosseum Mall on Aug. 24, 2014 in New York City.
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Lee O'Denat at Jamaica Colosseum Mall on Aug. 24, 2014 in New York City. 

The founder of WorldStarHipHop, Lee O'Denat, more popularly known as "Q," has died at age 43, Billboard has confirmed. TMZ first reported the news.

The site reports that O'Denat died in his sleep Monday (Jan. 23). O'Denat launched WSHH (also referred to as "WorldStar") -- a site known for posting and premiering viral content, including hip-hop videos and mixtapes, as well as eye-grabbing clips -- in 2005. The site served as a platform for spotlighting up-and-coming hip-hop talent and birthed a popular catchphrase for the online community with "WorldStar," when users would record outrageous events and post them on the Internet.

WSHH has received backlash for its content in the past, as the site often aggregated material without credit. In 2011, Q was tangled in a feud with rapper 50 Cent, who once claimed on Twitter that he had "put Worldstar to bed" when the site was shut down for a brief period in 2011 (an Internet video creator named IShatOnU who filed a copyright complaint against the site turned out to be the cause).

"You don’t believe, try me, I will shut your sh-- down," added 50, who had filed a lawsuit against O'Denat in 2009 for copyright infringement, that involved an image of the rapper being used on the site's masthead. The Hollywood Reporter reported in March 2014 that 50 Cent was awarded a partial victory in the suit. 

According to a 2011 VIBE feature on WSHH, O'Denat said that the site reeled in "roughly" 2 million unique visitors a day. 

Tributes have begun to hit social media. O'Denat's close friend and celebrity jeweler Ben Baller also posted a collage of images of himself with Q. "I really am at a loss for words. I just spoke to you last night," read the caption. "You were more than just a friend and brother and even more than a godfather to my first born. You were my light and my inspiration. We traveled the world and I feel sometimes I owe you the world. I love you Lee Odenat. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me and my family. It's #WSHH forever bro. #Worldstar#Qworldstar #Queens"


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