In the ever-changing entertainment industry, there are times when artists seem to drop out of sight, leaving fans and people in the industry asking what happened to them. Pokey Bear, a very skilled musician whose soulful songs won over the hearts of millions of people, is now the subject of rumors and questions. Even though there are rumors about how he is doing now, the question remains: Is Pokey Bear still living, or has he died and written his name into the history of music?
What Happened to Pokey Bear?
Big Pokey, a rapper from Houston who was one of the first people to join the Screwed Up Click group, has died. He was 45.
Pokey, whose real name was Milton Powell, died early Sunday morning after collapsing on stage in Texas, according to multiple news stories and social media posts from his peers.
In a statement to local news station KRIV, Pokey’s publicist revealed that he had died and said, “He was well-loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans.”
Pokey’s spokeswoman said, “In the next few days, we will let the public know about his memorial service and how they can pay their respects.” “We ask that you give his family the space and quiet they need during this hard time. Big Pokey will always be ‘The Hardest Pit in the Litter.'”
Reps for Pokey later told PEOPLE as well that he had died.
A story from TMZ says that Pokey fell during his show at Pour09 Bar & Rooftop in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Early Sunday morning, the venue posted a message on Facebook to fans: “The Pour09 family would like to ask that you keep Big Pokey in your prayers at this time.”
As a founding member of the Screwed Up Click and a freestyler on DJ Screw’s early Screw Tapes, the singer became well-known. He is featured for six minutes on Screw’s 35-minute track “June 27th.”
Pokey’s first record, Hardest Pit in the Litter, came out in 1999, and his second album, D-Game, came out just a year later. In 2002, he put out his third record, Da Sky’s Da Limit. Three years later, he was on Paul Wall’s song “Sittin’ Sideways.” The song reached its highest spot on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 93.
His most recent record, Sensei, came out in 2021. He joined Megan Thee Stallion, Sauce Walka, Lil Keke, and Mike D. on the track “Southside Royalty Freestyle” from 2022’s Traumazine. “Shoutout to @theestallion for putting on for the city,” Pokey wrote at the time.
R.I.P. the legend Big Pokey
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) June 18, 2023
“I wasn’t ready for this,” southern rap legend Bun B wrote of Pokey on Instagram on Sunday. “One of the most skilled artists in the city who got that way by accident. He was a low-key, humble giant of a man who moved with respect and honor. He was easy to like and difficult to dislike.”
“He would pull over, do what he needed to do, and then head home. One of the things that hold up our city. If the person Heart of Gold was real. A well-known SUC member. There will never be another like it, and people will miss it very much. Sensei, we love and respect you. He said, “Rest in heaven.”
Wall himself posted a few clips and pictures on Instagram and wrote that Pokey was a “great mentor and friend.”
“A trendsetter and a leader,” he said. “I’m so glad I got to know #BigPokey.” Your family has my love, thoughts, and condolences. Brother, rest in peace. Sensei Forever #ripbigpokey”
Slim Thug, a rapper, also wrote about the death on Instagram. He called it a “sad day in the city.”
He also said, “Htown legend.”