Madonna is one of the most well-known pop stars of all time. She is known for her music, her style, and her performances that push the limits. But she is not the only person in her family who has been in the news over the years. Anthony Ciccone, her older brother, has also been in the news because of his troubled life and tense relationship with his famous sister.
Anthony and Madonna grew up together, but their lives have gone in very different directions. His story is both interesting and sad. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at who Madonna’s brother is and what we know about his life.
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Madonna Brother: What Happened to Her Brother?
According to a death certificate obtained by TMZ, Anthony Ciccone, Madonna’s elder brother, passed away due to throat cancer and respiratory failure. According to the site, Ciccone’s death in February was purportedly brought on by several medical conditions, including oropharyngeal cancer, with tobacco smoking being mentioned as a contributing factor.
Ciccone’s passing was originally reported by PEOPLE in February after the singer’s sister Melanie Ciccone’s husband, Joe Henry, shared the sad news on Instagram. Ciccone, who was 66 at the time of his death, reportedly withdrew his feeding and breathing tubes two days before passing away despite “dire implications,” according to TMZ.
Anthony Gerard Ciccone, my brother-in-law, left this earthly plane last evening, Henry said in the caption. As my brother Dave Henry (who snapped this shot) observes above, Anthony was a complex character; and heaven knows: we tangled in moments, as true brothers can. I’ve known him since I was 15, in the bloom of our lives in Michigan so many years ago.
Yet, he continued,
“I liked him and knew him better than I was sometimes ready to let on. Farewell, brother Anthony. I want to believe that the deity your blessed mother (and mine) believed in has her there, waiting to receive you. At least for today, no one shall discourage me from this vision. But trouble disappears; and family endures — with hands reached across the table.”
The pop queen and her family had a complicated connection with Ciccone because of his difficulties, a source said to PEOPLE at the time. The source claims that
“they were all there for him” and “Madonna supported him in every manner she could when he was willing to take the support.”
Madonna and other family members paid him visits while he was receiving treatment because he had been getting worse lately. Since his passing, Madonna has acknowledged that her brother was responsible for introducing her to “expansive thinking,” Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Buddhism, Taoism, Charles Bukowski, Richard Brautigan, and Jack Kerouac.
“Thank you for blowing my mind as a young child. You planted many essential seeds.”
In their native Michigan, Ciccone claimed to be “homeless on the street” and to be residing under a bridge in 2011. After spending time in a treatment facility, Brother Christopher Ciccone stated to The Mirror in 2017 that he was “back home” and “recovering.”
According to his obituary, Ciccone passed away on February 24 in Suttons Bay, Michigan. The obituary discusses his struggles and describes him as “troubled and aloof from his own, beloved family.” It also describes him as an “insatiable reader” and “a deep admirer of music with a wanderer’s spirit.”
It states that despite being a loner who spent a large portion of his adult life alone due to an addiction that contributed to his early death, he was nevertheless brought to life by a sense of belonging and community.