Cola Boyy, ‘Penny Girl’ Singer & Disability Rights Activist, Dead at 34

Musician Matthew Urango, best known as his artist name Cola Boyy, has died. He was 34 years old.

The Oxnard, Calif., native’s manager, Jack Sills, announced the news on Instagram on Monday (March 18). “Rest in peace to my brother @colaboyy . Anyone who knew Matthew knows he had a larger than life personality,” he wrote alongside a photo of Urango holding up peace signs. “He was always the life of the party and could chop it up with anyone. He was also one of the most talented and down to earth people I’ve ever met. His humor and natural charisma endeared him to whoever he met. Matthew cared enormously for his family, friends and community which he often expressed through his music. He had just finished his next album and was excited to start releasing new music this summer. I will continue to work with his family and @recordmakers to make sure this happens. Love you homie. Cola Boyy Forever!”

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His label, Record Makers, added in a statement: “He was quite a soul, a man with no age, a childlike spirit with the musicality of an old legend. His lyrics, his melodies, the sound of his voice: every side of his music was unique and timeless… We loved him at Record Makers. We are sending all possible love to Matthew’s family and to his numerous friends. His music and power will remain.”

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Urango, a disability rights activist, was born with spina bifida, scoliosis and kyphosis. He played bass for the Sea Lions before he began releasing his own music in 2018. His debut EP, Black Boogie Neon, featured the singles “Penny Girl” and “Buggy Tip.” Cola Boyy’s debut album Prosthetic Boombox came out in 2021, including features from the Avalanches, MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, Godin, John Carroll Kirby, and more.

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