Jon James McMurray, a 34-year-old Canadian rapper, died Saturday after falling off an airplane wing during a music video shoot.
McMurray, who performed under the name Jon James, was filming a stunt on a Cessna aircraft. As he “got further out onto the wing,” it caused the plane “to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct,” according to a statement from his management team.
“Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn’t have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly,” his team told the Canadian Press. The pilot eventually landed the plane safely. McMurray was found dead in a field near Westwold, British Columbia.
McMurray, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, was an accredited professional skier and grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains. After an injury left him with a broken back and shattered heel, he pursued a career in the music industry. He was also an accomplished stuntman and was living in Los Angeles.
“He poured his ambition for life into his music and relentlessly worked toward advancement in the music industry,” the statement read. “His passion for making music videos and performing stunts were combined, and Jon pushed music in a new direction that was uncharted territory.”
McMurray had been working on this project for “months,” with his team noting he trained “intensely for the stunt.” It appears from Instagram he was working on the video for his song “The Man,” featuring Riff Raff.
“Jon was an incredibly passionate person and was always smiling. He filled everyone around him with positivity, and never spoke poorly about another person. He had a heart of gold,” the statement concluded. “Jon would want to be remembered as a beacon of light to follow your dreams, and would want everyone to continue to be inspired through his music and life message.”
McMurray is survived by his father and mother, Doug and Jen McMurray, his wife, Kali James, and brother, Jarred McMurray. The family has started a GoFundMe page to “get his stuff out there to the world in the right way” and “help with Jon James’s celebration of life.”