Rickey Smiley Says What Happened to His Son Brandon May Have Been a Drug Overdose

February 12, 2024

One month after announcing his son Brandon Smiley died, comedian Rickey Smiley is opening up about his loss. The radio host, who is also the father to D'Essence, 25, Taylor, 22, Malik, 21, and Aaryn, says that his son struggled with substance abuse, and he and his mother did everything they could to send him to rehab. Rickey Smiley believes that his son's death may have been a result of a drug overdose, but the family is waiting on toxicology reports.

In an emotional video, Smiley said that he was preparing to leave for the airport when he got the call about his son's untimely passing. He asked fans for their prayers and said that he was shocked but not surprised by the news. Smiley is now reflecting on his son's death and sharing his message that families should talk openly about drug abuse.

Brandon Jamaad Smiley was found unresponsive inside his Birmingham home Sunday morning, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. The 32-year-old was taken to UAB Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy found no evidence of foul play or trauma, and the cause of death will be determined by laboratory testing. In the video, Smiley described his son as a fan and prankster who loved roller coasters and wanted to follow in his footsteps as a comedian. The two had been working on a comedy special together when Brandon's addiction took hold.


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