Lee O’Denat, the Queens-bred founder of the influential music and urban culture website WorldstarHipHop.com, has died in southern California.
He was 43.
Known simply as “Q” by his friends and millions of followers, the media mogul passed away from unknown causes with family notifications still underway Tuesday, a well-placed source told the Daily News.
Originally from Hollis, Queens, O’Denat was living in San Diego with his three school-age kids.
Celebrity news website TMZ.com, which first reported the news, said he died in his sleep.
The founder and face of the WorldStar brand was a larger-than-life fixture of urban music and media circles, famous for his sense of humor and uncanny ability to find and promote viral videos.
According to a recent New York Times profile, O’Denat was of Haitian heritage, raised by a single mom. An early job at a Circuit City store encouraged his love of computers.
One of his first web ventures was an e-commerce site selling mix tapes by his famous friend DJ Whoo Kid, known for his collaborations with Queens rapper 50 Cent.
O’Denat later harnessed the power of YouTube and crowdsourced videos to create his wildly popular WorldStarHipHop website.
He was actively working on his latest venture in recent weeks — the launch of a WorldStar TV show on MTV2, due to debut next month.