Rickey Smiley‘s eldest son Brandon Smiley died suddenly on Sunday from unknown causes. He was 32.
The grieving radio host and comedian announced his son’s death on Sunday as he headed to Birmingham, Alabama to make funeral arrangements.
“I just had bad news this morning,” Rickey said in a video posted on Instagram.com. “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.”
“I’m okay, but please pray for my son Brandon’s mother Brenda, his siblings, and his daughter Storm,” Rickey added.
Brandon Smiley was born on February 9, 1990. He was an aspiring comedian and actor who appeared in his father’s reality TV series, Rickey Smiley For Real and The Rickey Smiley Show on TV One.
In 2017, Brandon tried his hand at comedy while his father watched nervously in the audience (watch video).
Rickey Smiley, real name Broderick Dornell Smiley, is the host of the nationally syndicated, Atlanta-based Rickey Smiley Morning Show that airs locally on WHTA Hot 107.9.
Rickey’s celebrity friends shared their condolences on social media.
“Rickey Smiley’s son Brandon passed away today,” NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson tweeted on Sunday. “Cookie and I are praying for Rickey, Brandon’s mother Brenda, his siblings, his daughter and all of his loved ones. May God bless the family.”
Rickey Smiley’s son Brandon passed away today. Cookie and I are praying for Rickey, Brandon’s mother Brenda, his siblings, his daughter and all of his loved ones. May God bless the family ??
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 29, 2023
“I’m devastated to hear that my friend @RickeySmiley has lost his son Brandon,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin also tweeted. “Rickey has given so much to our city; this is the time when we need to give back to him. Join me in wrapping our arms around him & his family during this difficult time. We’re praying for you, Rickey.”
In 2020, Rickey said that his daughter, Aaryn, was shot in Houston while on her way to a fast food restaurant. Aaryn has since recovered from her injuries.
Rickey previously said that he had raised “about 15 kids,” but only 2 are his own. “I have two biological kids and the rest are adopted, mixed with nieces and nephews,” Rickey told “The Real” in March 2015. In an interview with Vlad TV, Rickey revealed that he put a majority of these children through college.
“So, we take a lot of those kids out on boating trips… I just appreciate my sons for opening up their hearts and their home and accepting other kids. We have pretty much raised between 12 and 15 children,” Rickey said.
Brandon leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter, Storm Smiley.