Madonna’s oldest brother Anthony Ciccone’s ’cause of death revealed’
Madonna‘s oldest brother’s cause of death has been revealed to be from a combination of respiratory failure and throat cancer, it had been reported.
Anthony Ciccone died at the age of 66 in February, reportedly due to oropharyngeal cancer, which can be caused by smoking.
TMZ reported that the death certificate shows he was cremated and that use of tobacco contributed to his death.
He was receiving treatment at a Michigan nursing facility when he passed away, which was paid for by Madonna.
The publication alleges that Anthony had his feeding and breathing tubes removed two days before he passed, despite knowing the consequences.
Cause of death: Madonna ‘s oldest brother’s cause of death has been revealed to be from a combination of respiratory failure and throat cancer, it had been reported.
Tragic: Anthony Ciccone died at the age of 66 in February, reportedly due to oropharyngeal cancer, which can be caused by smoking
Madonna broke her silence over his death one day after news broke of his passing, over Instagram.
While paying tribute to her late sibling, the Queen of Pop, 64, fondly remembered the wisdom he passed down to her, from different religion and his favorite novelists to music recommendations.
‘Thank you for blowing my mind as a young girl and introducing me to Charlie Parker, Miles David, Buddhism, Taoism, Charles Bukowski, Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, expansive thinking outing the box,’ she captioned a sepia throwback. ‘You planted many important seeds.’
In the image, uploaded to her Instagram Story on Monday morning, she can be seen smiling at a crowded table alongside numerous pals and Anthony.
While she had her arm wrapped around a man in a black leather jacket and a leopard shawl over her shoulders, the singer’s sibling looked handsome as he looked away from the camera.
Paying tribute: Madonna broke her silence over his death one day after news broke of his passing, over Instagram
Less than an hour later, she shared behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals of her upcoming 40th anniversary The Celebration Tour, which she announced in January.
‘Thank God I have my creative life to inspire me and keep me going……. ♥️,’ she captioned the recording, along with a ‘grateful’ hashtag.
In the video, she can be seen working with her dancers on stage, before saying, ‘I’ll see you later.’
In a statement, Joe Henry, who is the husband of Madonna’s sister Melanie Ciccone, wrote: ‘My brother-in-law, Anthony Gerard Ciccone, exited this earthly plane last evening. I’ve known him since I was 15, in the spring of our lives in Michigan so many years now gone.’
Madonna, who was born in Michigan to Catholic parents, grew up in the suburbs of Detroit with five siblings, the eldest of whom was Anthony, born two years before her in 1956.
Although she moved to New York in 1978 to pursue dance and embarked on what was going to be a hugely successful career, he stayed largely in Michigan, working on and off for their father, before falling victim to alcoholism and homelessness.
Tribute: Cicconi pictured as a young man in a warm tribute to him posted by his brother in law on Saturday
‘Anthony was a complex character; and god knows: we tangled in moments, as true brothers can. But I loved him, and understood him better than I was sometimes willing to let on,’ he added.
‘But trouble fades; and family remains – with hands reached across the table. Farewell, then, brother Anthony. I want to think the god your blessed mother (and mine) believed in has her there, waiting to receive you. At least for today, no one shall dissuade me from this vision,’ said Ciccone, ending his note.
Like Madonna, Cicconi also spent time in New York in his 30s in the late 1980s.
Carolina Gengo, 59, who dated him at the time, described him in a positive light. ‘He was a lost soul trying to find his way but he was a good person,’ she said.
‘He had books everywhere, that was all he really had. He was into reading about life and philosophy,’ said Gengo. ‘And he wanted to sit around and talk about it,’ she added.
‘He talked about what it was like being the brother of Madonna, he didn’t like being known as the brother of Madonna’, she said.
Gengo recounted one occasion when on his birthday his sister’s assistant called to ask how much money he wanted as a gift. That, she said, alienated him.
After some years of sleeping rough under a bridge in Michigan Madonna’s family said they would reincorporate estranged Anthony in 2017.
It came after for years he suggested publicly that his family had turned their backs on him. ‘I’m a zero in their eyes; a non-person, an embarrassment,’ he told the Daily Mail in 2011.
‘If I froze to death, my family probably wouldn’t know or care about it for six months.’
Ciccone said at the time that he had been living under a river bridge in Michigan with a sleeping bag and his sole companion, another street dweller named Michael.
Struggles: While Madonna moved to New York in 1978 to pursue dance, her eldest brother stayed in Michigan and fell victim to alcoholism and homelessness
Throwback: Ciccone is pictured homeless in Michigan in 2011 with his friend ‘Matty’, who was also homeless at the time
Helping hand: Madonna had known about her brother’s plight and repeatedly offered to help by paying for him to go into rehab
Ciccone said he had been among the homeless in the ski resort of Traverse City since losing a job at his father’s vineyard and winery six miles away.
His father and stepmother own a vineyard about 20 miles north of where Anthony would sleep rough, under Union St. bridge in Traverse City.
‘My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time,’ he said. ‘You think I haven’t answered this question a bazillion times – why my sister is a multi-bazillionaire and I’m homeless on the street? Never say never. This could happen to anybody.’
He said it made him angry when some thought it funny that the brother of such a famous star should end up living under a bridge. He was adamant at the time that he wanted none of her money – whether it was offered or not.
‘I’m not looking to get a free handout because of my sister,’ he said. ‘I’m not looking for any publicity.’ He instead relies on the generosity of soup kitchens run by local churches for food.
Ciccone, who claimed he once worked in Alaska’s fishing industry and as a photographer’s assistant in New York, now makes a few dollars doing odd jobs and collecting bottles and cans from people’s dustbins.
Life: Ciccone said he once worked in Alaska’s fishing industry and as a photographer’s assistant in New York
Troubles: His father and stepmother own a vineyard about 20 miles north of where Anthony would sleep rough, under Union St. bridge in Traverse City (pictured)
Madonna had known about his plight, and repeatedly offered to help by paying for him to go into rehab. His father also offered to give him his job back if he got professional help.
He had not always been receptive though. ‘My family seem to think rehab is some kind of magic panacea for life’s ills,’ he once said.
Nonetheless things appeared to look up for Cicconi after a stint in rehab in 2017 and his reintegration to family life.
Karen McCarthy, a founder of rehab clinic Dann’s House, confirmed his stay, telling the Sunday People: ‘Anthony loved it at Dann’s House for quite a while, and made significant improvements in his life while he was with us.
‘Dann’s House does good work with people who are vulnerable. We’ve seen tremendous, positive results.’