South African rapper Costa Titch has died after collapsing on stage in front of a horrified audience during his final song.
The 27-year-old, whose real name was Constantinos Tsobanoglou, died in hospital after stumbling and then appearing to lose consciousness while performing.
He had been playing to adoring fans at the Ultra Music Festival at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday, 11 March.
Distressing footage, which MailOnline has chosen not to publish in full, shows the artist tripping over to gasps from the crowd before getting up and finishing his song.
Rapturous applause then breaks out from the audience as he finishes his set, with another man on the stage telling fans to ‘put your hands up’.
But almost instantly after the crowd’s cheers erupt, he appears unsteady on his feet before collapsing to the floor.
Fans continue cheering as shocked security staff and crew members rush to his aid.
Costa’s family has now confirmed his death in statement, in which they thanked his fans for their support.
‘Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson,’ they said.
‘It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time.’
The family added: ‘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 afford 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.’
Costa originally started as a backup dancer before launching his career as a rapper.
A rising star of the South African music scene, Costa was an award-winning performer after breaking into the industry in 2020.
He had recently signed to rapper Akon’s record label Konvict Kulture and is known for his hits such as Activate and Nkalakatha.
He was tipped to achieve wider acclaim as his signing meant he could reach more audiences around the world.
In a recent interview on it he said: ‘After the success of my 2022 catalogue, we felt it was time to partner with a global entity so we can continue to push the barriers on an international scale.’
Tributes have poured in since his death last night from fellow musicians, celebrities and a politician in South Africa.
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation wrote on Twitter: ‘SAMRO is saddened by the passing of popular rapper Costa Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch.
‘Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and broader music industry.’
Rapper Da L.E.S tweeted: ‘RIP, Costa Titch. Great talent gone to soon.’
Julius Sello Malema, a member of parliament, shared the rapper’s name and a heartbreak emoji on Twitter.