While death is an inevitable part of life, that fact doesn’t make it any easier when it is reported that someone has died.
At NewsOne, we’re using this space as both a celebration as well as a commemoration of the lives of notable Black people who left their indelible marks on the planet while they were here with us.
READ MORE: Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We’ve Lost In 2022
Such is the case with Brandon Smiley, the son of comedian and radio host Rickey Smiley, who made the unfortunate announcement on Sunday.
“I lost my oldest son #BrandonSmiley this morning,” Rickey Smiley wrote as a caption to a video his posted on Instagram. “I’m okay, but please pray for my son’s mother Brenda, his siblings and his daughter Storm.”
Bossip covered the news and transcribed a part of what Rickey Smiley said in the video announcing the death of his son, Brandon.
“I just had bad news this morning,” said Smiley in an Instagram video. “I’m on my way to the airport to get to Birmingham. I want everybody to pray for me, pray for our family. Our son Brandon Smiley has passed away this morning. Lord have mercy, Jesus.
“Pray for Brandon’s mother and his father Taurus and his sister Taylor, and everybody. I hate to announce this, but I just want to give it to you before you hear it in the streets.”
“Life comes with a whole bunch of twists and turns. I can’t think straight,” he added.
Rickey Smiley also said: “Now I see what my granddaddy went through and why he felt the way he felt. My granddaddy went through this s–t with my dad and somehow, here I am going through the same thing my grandparents went through. So just pray for our family.”
Rockey Smiley also suggested in a second post that he was trying to remain optimistic in the face of adversity.
“May your battles keep you near the cross, may your struggles show that you need God, May your battles end the way it should, and MAY YOUR BAD DAYS PROVE THAT GOD IS GOOD,” he wrote.
The Rickey Smiley Morning Show reports that Brandon Smiley was a fellow comedian and actor who appeared alongside Riceky on his TV One show, Rickey Smiley For Real.
Just hours before news broke of his passing, Brandon was seen in a video alongside his partner Brooke Antonette.
She’s since added a tribute to Brandon captioned, “Nobody will ever compare to you my love.”
Brandon Smiley is survived by his 3-year-old daughter, Storm, 3, his mom Brenda, brother Malik, 21, and sisters D’Essence, 25, Taylor, 22, and Aaryn, 21. He was 32 years old.
Keep reading below to learn more about the notable Black people we’ve lost this year.
The post Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Have Died In 2023 appeared first on NewsOne.
Rest In Power: Notable Black People Who Have Died In 2023 was originally published on newsone.com
1. Fred White, Earth Wind & Fire drummerSource:Getty
Fred White, the drummer for the legendary R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, died on Jan. 1. He was 67 years old.
The fourth of the White brothers to perform in Earth, Wind & Fire, Fred was one of the famous band’s early members … joining EWF way back in 1974 when he was just 19 years old.
Fred played drums on 8 different Earth, Wind & Fire albums … plus some of their biggest hit songs like “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Saturday Night” and “Shining Star” … and he’s one of the 9 band members inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2. Lynette “Diamond” HardawaySource:Getty
Lynette Hardaway, also known as one-half of the MAGA duo Diamond and Silk, died on Jan. 9.
3. Gangsta Boo, rapperSource:Getty
Lola Chantrelle “Gangsta Boo” Mitchell, who rose to prominence as part of the Three 6 Mafia collective, was found dead on New Year’s Day at a home in Memphis just hours after celebrating the end of 2022 with her family at a concert. She had been showing no signs of distress in the hours before her death, according to reports. Gangsta Boo was 43 years old.
4. Cleophas “Cleo” Orange, civil rights icon
Cleophas “Cleo” Orange, 78, died of lung disease Jan. 4. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described her as a “mother figure” in the civil rights movement.