The singer-songwriter’s biological mother reportedly succumbed to her years-long battle with addiction while celebrating her birthday.
Frankie Lons, an influential figure who came out before some of reality TV's most ostentatious mothers, has passed away at the age of 61.
Best known for appearing alongside her daughter, singer-songwriter Keyshia Cole, and her daughter Neffeteria Pugh, Lons’s spirit and infectious personality enraptured audiences, while opening the door to other stars such as Momma Dee (Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta) and Sister Patterson (I Love New York).
Confirmed by her family and Cole’s sister Elite Noel via Instagram Stories, the heartbreaking post notes that Frankie succumbed to her years-long battle with addiction while celebrating her birthday.
“The worst pain ever,” Noel wrote. “Wors[t] pain ever … to see my mama in a body bag on her birthday! My heart [is] so f---in’ broke.”
Per TMZ, “Frankie overdosed at her Oakland home Sunday … the same day she was celebrating her born day, when she apparently took drugs while partying — relapsing on what we’re told was a long, hard-fought journey to sobriety.”
Keyshia Cole’s brother, Sam, shared that the family wanted fans and the world to “remember Frankie as someone who loved her kids, and who wanted her children to be together … despite their turbulent history.”
Adopted at a young age, Cole and her biological mother had a complicated relationship that played itself out in the public eye on television. Her father, Virgil Hunter, also was a boxing trainer when a DNA test confirmed that they were indeed family. The latter two were able to make amends and move forward with their relationship.
Cole was raised by family friends until she went back to her biological family as her career began to take off.
She was also no stranger to being expressive about her mother’s journey with addiction. An Instagram post in 2018 written by the singer-songwriter said, “Every time my mom [relapses], it breaks my heart more than it’s already been broken. I’m hoping, if any of [you] are dealing with a family member who’s battling with drug addiction, that you, yourself, are learning how to cope with the struggle of it all. And all the pain it brings to see a loved one constantly relapsing.”
The news has reverberated through the online community.
You can see a few reactions below, as EBONY extends our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Frankie Lons.