Keenan Cahill, the YouTube phenom best known for his lip-sync collabs with stars ranging from Katy Perry to Justin Bieber and 50 Cent, died in Chicago on December 29, his family has confirmed in a message posted to his official Facebook page.
The popular social media influencer had a little less than two weeks earlier undergone open-heart surgery. And while it seemed at first that he might make a full recovery, complications ultimately arose that resulted in his passing, after being taken off of life support.
Cahill’s final surgery was one of many he endured over the years, after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome at age 1. This rare condition, per MedLine Plus, is one that “causes many tissues and organs to enlarge, become inflamed or scarred, and eventually waste away,” also commonly resulting in “skeletal abnormalities.”
“Keenan is an inspiration,” his family wrote on Facebook, “and let’s celebrate by remembering all the content he created, artists he collaborated with, music he produced and the love he had for everyone who supported him over the years.”
Boasting more than 721,000 subscribers and 500 million views on YouTube, the Illinois-based Cahill first came to the internet’s attention by way of his lip-sync videos in the 2010s. His work quickly captured the attention of artists like the aforementioned Perry and 50 Cent, whose collaborations with him would lead other artists including Bieber, David Guetta, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Aniston, Tyra Banks and many more to record videos with him, as well.
Also releasing original music of his own over the years, Cahill is remembered by his aunt Katie Owen as someone who “never made a lot of money” but “enjoyed what he was doing and brought smiles to the faces of so many people” with his work.
“Thank you to everyone that made Keenan’s short life memorable,” she continued, in a message posted to a GoFundMe page, intended to help cover funeral costs. “He will be missed by all who knew him.”
While memorial plans haven’t been disclosed, $1,337 of the GoFundMe page’s $10,000 goal has been secured at time of reporting.