Tributes paid to Stonebridge artist and rapper who has died, 44

Kevin 'Lefty' Noel in 2013. Picture: Jan Nevill

Kevin 'Lefty' Noel in 2013. Picture: Jan Nevill - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a Stonebridge rapper, actor and community player who has sadly died aged 44.

Stonebridge rapper and community activist Kevin 'Lefty' Noel. Picture: Robert Beckles

Stonebridge rapper and community activist Kevin 'Lefty' Noel. Picture: Robert Beckles - Credit: Archant

Dad-of-two Kevin ‘Lefty’ Noel was a member of hip hop band USG and starred in two episodes of the Channel 4 series Top Boy.

The artist, whose mother died when he was 18 and father died when he was 21, suffered a long-term medical condition and died on September 26.

As well as being a recording artist, Kevin was one of four directors of independent record label, artist development and consultancy company USG Entertainment and mentored young artists.

He was also involved in community-based music projects and in 2015 coordinated and ran a workshop for young upcoming artists to collaborate with each other and create the album Stay Connected.

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Close friend Robert Beckles said: “He was so active in the community, doing stuff to steer young people away from postcode issues, drug and gun crime and gang violence. He’ll be sorely missed.”

Dwayne ‘Squingy’ Wright, chief executive of USG, said: “Lefty was always big on community and helping to motivate and push young people towards their goals, even recently Lefty was in talks with local borough councillors and other community figures with the intent of creating business opportunities and artistry workshops to help divert youngsters from getting caught up in the postcode activity.”

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He said the actor was taking a screen writing course just before he died and was in talks with directors about creating documentaries and movies.

“Lefty had so much to offer and played a big part not just in the USG Entertainment movement but in the ends as a whole and he is truly going to be missed but his legacy will live on.”

USG artist K-Koke added: “Left was a big brother, father figure, best friend, uncle - everything wrapped up in one. He literally kept me on the straight and narrow when I was young and reckless, or at least tried to. No one pushed me like him.

“Lefty gave me advice whenever I needed it and it was always proper good advice with good intentions and a clean heart, he kept me on the right path.

“Words can’t describe how much I love big bro and how much I will miss him.”

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