Biz Markie was known for his beat-boxing skills and song “Just a Friend,” but some may be surprised to find out about another famous song he did.
Part of Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, Biz Markie’s version of Elton John‘s “Bennie and the Jets” stands out. Markie explained how it came about in a 2015 interview, saying it started with him jamming out to rock records with the Boys and “So people was buggin’ out, and they broke down ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ and I sang it.”
Biz’s out of tune and slightly mumbled version is a reminder of how almost everyone sings “Bennie and the Jets.” Beastie Boys and Biz Markie performed the song live twice: once in Madison Square Garden in 1998 and in 2009 in Asheville, North Carolina.
Biz Markie passed away at the age of 57 on Friday.