Tributes have poured in for the British rapper Cadet who was killed in a horror taxi accident en route to a performance at Keele University in the early hours of the morning.
The 28-year-old musician, real name Blaine Cameron Johnson, was a passenger heading to the Staffordshire gig when a Toyota Prius and a red Vauxhall Combo van crashed on Main Road, in Betley at 1.30am.
Despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, Johnson died at the scene, while the two drivers, men aged 36 and 22, were taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries. Three other passengers in the Toyota were treated for minor injuries at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.
A statement from Johnson's bereft family shared on his Instagram feed read: 'We the family of Blaine Cameron Johnson known as Cadet (Underrated Legend) would like to share the sad news that during the early hours of 9th February 2019 he passed away as a passenger in a taxi, en route to a performance.
'Right now we the family appreciate your patience and will share with you any information as and when we can. Thanks for your support in advance. Love The Johnson Family #cadetcadet #imbuff #underratedlegend #ripcadet.'
Arsenal football legend Ian Wright paid tribute to the late rapper writing on Twitter: 'Life can be so cruel. Thinking of the family, friends and all of this fans.'
Cadet was the cousin of Krept, of duo Krept and Konan; the Freak Of The Week rapper tweeted: 'Absolutely broken.'
Adding: 'My life will never be the same again. I love you and will forever miss you. I cant believe it. I am heartbroken. Rest in peace cuz'
Example wrote on Twitter: 'Was chatting to you only last week about how excited you were for some festivals this summer. So much positive energy.
'Smiling nonstop when I was with you, first time we met I felt as if I'd known you my whole life. Mad humble guy. RIP Cadet.'
Rapper Ghetts wrote: 'Just woken up looked at my timeline - proper genuine brudda cadet. condolences to his close friends and family.'
Producer Dr Kane tweeted: 'I feel numb my bro you know. I was just speaking to you about our next tune we were gonna drop and shut down this year. I feel sick man !!! RIP cadet.'
DJ Semtex wrote: 'Cant believe it… I was on stage with him last week . Never seen a man so happy. Everything was working out for him. This was gonna be his year. We were plottin on the best time to do an interview on his next single. Rip Cadet.'
Megaman from So Solid Crew wrote: 'Woke up in shock this morning.... He brought life and substance to the UK music scene.'
A fan added: 'RIP Cadet. It's sad how we rarely ever appreciate and support hard working artists when they are alive. We will now start hearing how great he truly was.'
Entertainment group The Creatives wrote: 'We're in total shock! Rest in Paradise to UK Rap Superstar Callmecadet . Your musical abilities, your flows, concepts and acting levels are forever incredible. All our love & stength towards the Johnson family and his supporters.'
Cadet teamed up with Deno for their hit song 'Advice', as well as a strong feature of recent track 'Pumpy'.
He was due to perform at the Wireless festival in London this summer. In the billing on its website, the festival said: 'The proclaimed 'Underrated Legend', Cadet, stepped into the music scene during the second half of 2015 with a hard-hitting freestyle reaching over half a million views in just a few months. This was quickly followed by another heartfelt freestyle. Cadet is tipped for an unstoppable career.'
Keele Students' Union said: 'We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news that Cadet passed away en route to Keele in the early hours of this morning.
'We would like to offer our sincere condolences to his loved ones at this difficult time.'
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: 'A man has died following a road traffic collision in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
'At just before 1.30am this morning (Saturday 9 February) police were called to reports of a two-vehicle collision involving a silver Toyota Prius and a red Vauxhall Combo van on Main Road, Betley (A531).
'Emergency services attended and a passenger of the Toyota, a 28-year-old man from London, sadly died at the scene. Specialist officers are supporting the man's family.
'The drivers of both vehicles, a 36-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent and a 22-year-old man from Crewe, were taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries.
'Three further passengers of the Toyota were treated at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.
'Officers from the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses or anyone with relevant dashcam footage to contact 101, quoting incident 45 of 9 February.'
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.