It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye: Stars Who Tragically Lost A Sibling

July 21, 2014  |  
1 of 13

It’s always sad to lose a loved one. Here are 15 stars who tragically lost a sibling at some point in their life.

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara enjoyed a lot of success as the host of two television shows in her home country of Columbia before becoming a star here in the U.S. The “Modern Family” actress, who grew up in a well-to-do family, had to overcome a personal tragedy when her 27-year-old brother Rafael was kidnapped and murdered on the streets of Bogota in 1998. “In Colombia any person who has money is a target for kidnapping,” Vergara said of her wealthy family. “It’s a reality.”

Spike Lee

Famed filmmaker Spike Lee had a very rough start to 2014. While much of the world was spending last year’s New Year’s Eve in a celebratory mood, the “Do The Right Thing” director was in mourning. Lee’s younger brother Christopher Lee passed away. Spike shared the news of his loss by posting a photo of his brother from his younger days on Instagram with his born date and the last day of his life in the caption.

Queen Latifah

Rapper/singer/actress Queen Latifah suffered a personal loss during the early stages in her rap career. Back in 1992, the Newark native’s world was rocked when her older brother Lancelot was killed riding his motorcycle. This is the same bike his famous sister had recently bought for him as a present. Twenty years after his death, Queen Latifah still struggles with her grief and said losing her brother “was like suffering an amputation.”


Rapper Nelly jumped on the scene with “Country Grammar” in 2000 and quickly rose to stardom. Known for his misogynistic lyrics, the St. Louis native had his softer side on display when it was revealed that his sister Jackie Donahue was battling leukemia. Nelly used his celebrity status to educate African Americans on the importance of bone marrow transplants by starting the non-profit organization 4Sho4Kids Foundation. His sister succumbed to the disease on March 24, 2005.

Waka Flocka Flame

Viewers of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” are used to fights and love quarrels taking up most of the show but this season, things got a little heavier when rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s brother passed away. Budding rapper Kayo Redd took his own life late last year. His mother Deb Antney struggled to cope with the loss on the show. The ATL rapper was just 13 years old when another brother of his tragically died in a car crash.

Niecy Nash

Two decades ago Niecy Nash’s brother was murdered at the hands of a 16-year-old. The comedian and actress had to relive the pain decades later when it was reported that his convicted killer had struck again, this time stabbing his own wife to death. “No family should have to endure the loss of a loved one at the hands of a previously convicted violent criminal,” said the actress. ”I am deeply saddened to hear that the man who murdered my brother, Michael Ensley, has been charged with murder again.”

Amar’e Stoudemire

Before Carmelo Anthony came into town, Amar’e Stoudemire was the king of New York. In 2012, Stoudemire had to miss a few games when he had to run back to his home state of Florida after learning the news of the untimely passing of his older brother. Thirty-five-year-old Hazell Stoudemire was killed instantly when his SUV crashed into the back of an oil tanker. A year later the NBA superstar honored his late brother by inviting 30 high school students from their alma mater in Lake Wales to watch him and the Knicks face off against the Orlando Magic.

Chelsea Handler

Funny woman Chelsea Handler’s older brother tragically passed away when she was just ten years old. After her 27-year-old brother Chet died during a hiking trip, Handler admitted she withdrew emotionally. “My family wanted to talk to me about it but I was just, like, cut off ‘cause I didn’t want to cry in front of anyone,” said Handler in an interview with Rosie O’Donnell. “That’s very unhealthy. It took a long time to, you know, kind of get over.”

Mark Wahlberg

September 3, 2003 will always have a special meaning for actor Mark Wahlberg because the day was filled with highs and lows. His first child was born on this day but the joyous event was marred for the first-time father with the sudden passing of his sister. Forty-three-year-old Deborah Donnelly-Wahlberg was admitted to the hospital with kidney stones and suffered a fatal heart attack.

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John released her first record back in the 70’s and since then she has sold over 100 million albums in her career. Still performing, the British singer had to postpone a Las Vegas show last year when her beloved sister passed away from a brain tumor. The “Let’s Get Physical” singer paid homage to he older sibling on her Facebook page: “I will miss her forever-my beautiful, smart, talented, funny, brave sister Rona.”

Venus And Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams have obliterated opponents on the tennis courts for well over a decade, but the sisters experienced a terrible loss when their older sister was murdered in 2003. Yetunde Price, 31, was sitting in an SUV in Compton with a male friend when the two became involved in a verbal altercation. Things quickly turned deadly and the elder sister was shot multiple times. She was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.

Nick Carter

Former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter watched as his younger brother Aaron followed in his footsteps into the entertainment world. Both brothers experienced a personal loss when their sister Leslie died from a drug overdose at the age of 25. But the elder Carter skipped his sister’s funeral because his family held him partly responsible for her death and explained his decision on “Dr. Phil.” I felt it was unfair, especially with all the things I have done, and continue to do for them,” he said.

Luke Bryan

Country singer Luke Bryan almost didn’t follow his dreams of becoming an artist. Back in 1996 when he wanted to leave his hometown and head to Nashville, his older brother died in a car crash just days before Bryan was leaving. Instead he stayed and worked in the family business until he couldn’t contain his misery. After finally moving, Bryan landed a record deal but just as his debut album landed on shelves, tragedy struck again and his sister died of mysterious causes leaving behind a young son.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
blog comments powered by Disqus