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Poet, actor and musician Benjamin Zephaniah dies, aged 65

Poet, actor and musician Benjamin Zephaniah dies, aged 65
© Reuters
Acclaimed writer Benjamin Zephaniah dies at the age of 65 following a battle with a brain tumour.

The acclaimed poet and media figure Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65, his family has announced.

The Birmingham-born writer - also known for his role as Jimmy in Peaky Blinders - had been diagnosed with a brain tumour just eight weeks ago.

A statement said: "It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our beloved husband, son and brother in the early hours of this morning.

"Benjamin's wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed. We shared with him the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news.

"Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator. He gave the world so much.

"Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music television and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy."

One of nine siblings, Zephaniah was also known for his political campaigning - particularly on issues relating to empire and colonialism - and famously turned down an OBE in 2003.

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