Hours after the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook the island of Haiti, [artist id="1162"]Wyclef Jean[/artist] put out a plea to anyone with information about the whereabouts of Haitian rapper Jimmy O, who is a part of ‘Clef’s nonprofit Yele Haiti foundation .
“I urge everyone who’s listening right now that knows how great this kid is in Haiti — I need y’all to verify this information,” he said during a CNN interview. “It would be a terrible loss for us.”
On Friday (January 15), CNN confirmed that O, 35, who had reportedly traveled to the island to work on a mixtape, had died in the quake. According to reports, O was crushed while driving around downtown Port-au-Prince.
CNN was on the scene when O’s body was discovered Friday and watched as a man examined the body and pulled the artist’s passport from his pocket, verifying the corpse as that of Jean “Jimmy O” Jimmy Alexandre.
Agent Robert Dominique was also present at the discovery of the body and verified his identity. “His loss will be tremendous in Haiti,” Dominique said. He said that in addition to helping run the Yele Haiti charity, O also developed new talent and artists in Haiti.
The grief-stricken mother of the musician and his wife and two of his three children were present at the scene and were reportedly joined by a crowd that was also overcome with emotion over the loss.
As of Friday morning, Yele Haiti had raised more than $2 million from mobile giving, according to Albe Angel, CEO of Miami-based Give on the Go, the mobile-communications company working with nonprofit Yele Haiti to coordinate donations. In addition to food distribution and emergency relief, Yele Haiti has provided thousands of scholarships to children since its founding in 2004.
Learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti , and for more information, see Think MTV. Join George Clooney and Wyclef Jean for MTV’s “Hope for Haiti” telethon , airing commercial-free Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET.