Canadian Rapper Jon James McMurray Dies During Video Shoot After Airplane Stunt Goes Wrong: Report

Courtesy Photo
Jon James, "I Am"

Canadian rapper Jon James McMurray was killed on Saturday (Oct. 20) when he fell to his death in British Columbia while filming a video in which he was walking on the wing of a plane while rapping. According to a statement from McMurray's management, the rapper, 33 -- who was known for as an accomplished freeskier and stuntman -- had been working on the shoot for months, training "intensively."

"However, as Jon got further out onto the wing of the plane, it caused the small Cessna to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn't correct," the statement said. "Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn't have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly." The plane reportedly landed safely and no one else was injured in the accident, which took place in Vernon, British Columbia. "Jon was an incredibly passionate person and was always smiling. He filled everyone around him with positivity, and never spoke poorly about another person. He truly had a heart of gold."

McMurray's music videos frequently featured him performing stunts, from parkour flips and BASE jumping to skydiving, including a 2015 clip for "Hello" which opens with the rapper admitting that he "broke" a parachute while prepping for the shoot. The rapper grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains and was an accredited professional skier who logged several firsts, including landing the first backflip on and off a rail.

After suffering a broken back and shattered heel, he switched from pursuing his dream of professional skiing to being a musician. "His passion for making music videos and performing stunts were combined, and Jon pushed music in a new direction that was uncharted territory," the statement read. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, coroner's office and Transportation Safety Board have begun an investigation into McMurray's death. A GoFundMe page has been set up to "get his stuff out there to the world in the right way... [and] help with Jon James' celebration of life."

Billboard has reached out to RCMP for comment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Just the other day we were playing with cameras on a beautiful rooftop. Climbing around just like we did when we first met. As much as Jon james loved music and skiing and flipping, he loved cameras. When we met at age 14 he had a camera and he used every chance he got every day until last Saturday when he was using 12. He rolled around everyday with chargers for numerous devices. He would say things like “it’s better than nothing” when we where just messing around and shot a funny video. He loved life so much and he documented everything he did. He left us this weekend with so many lessons and even more good vibes. He also left us with hundreds of hours of music and footage that is all so, so beautiful. Myself and all his friends and family have started a page (link in profile) to raise some money so that his music and all his documentation of his fearless life is released in a professional way. The fund will also help with his celebration of life so we can send him off properly. Help us shine the light of Jon James forever! #jonjames

A post shared by Rory Wayne Bushfield (@bushywayne) on

Check out this tribute video to James below featuring the song "Patron."