Stand-up comedian and radio personality Rickey Smiley is mourning the loss of his eldest son. The talk show host announced on Instagram over the weekend that his son Brandon passed away at the age of 32.
“I just had bad news this morning. I’m on the way to the airport to get to Birmingham. I just want everybody to pray for me, pray for our family,” Rickey said in a video. “My son, Brandon Smiley, has passed away this morning.”
Rickey hasn’t disclosed the cause of death but did say that he was ‘ok’ during the video.
“Pray for my son’s mother and my son’s siblings,” he added.
“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.”
Brandon was following in the footsteps of his father. He was also a stand-up comedian and actor. He leaves behind a daughter named Storm, 3.
Rickey is known for The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Fox syndicated TV show Dish Nation, and TV One sitcom, The Rickey Smiley Show. His career in comedy and TV spans over two decades and in 2017 he received the Marconi Award for syndicated personality of the year.
But one of the most important titles he’s had has been father and father figure.
“I have a foundation called Front Row Kids. I buried my father when I was six years old. And a lot of kids from the church, different kids from the community that had to bury a parent, I kind of sympathized with that,” he told the ladies of The Real in 2015. He shared that stepping up in that way also required his biological children to make some sacrifices as well. “We take a lot those kids out on boating trips because I’m a boater, and I go fishing a lot with my sons. I just appreciate my sons for opening up their heart and their home and accepting other kids. But we really have raised between 12 and 15 children.”
This isn’t the first time Rickey has shared distressing news about his children with the public. In 2020, he shared that his daughter, Aaryn, had been shot after gunfire broke out around her while waiting at a stop light in Houston. She survived the harrowing incident, but Rickey was understandably shaken.
“I’m trying to pack a bag. Don’t know what to bag. Can’t think straight. Nerves bad, butterflies in my stomach,” he said. “My daughter in surgery. Can’t even get to her. I don’t know what to do. We got to stop gun violence. Parents shouldn’t have to go through this.”
Now he’s found himself grappling with this heartbreaking news about Brandon.
We’re praying Rickey and his family receive the support and comfort needed to navigate this immeasurable loss.