Anthony Ciccone, the older brother of pop superstar Madonna, passed away on Friday night, February 24, 2023, at the age of 66. Ciccone, who was born on May 3, 1956, in Rochester, Michigan. He is survived by his six siblings.
The news was shared by Ciccone’s brother-in-law, Joe Henry, who is married to Madonna’s sister, Melanie Ciccone.
Henry took to Instagram to share the tragic update and pay tribute to his late brother-in-law, “Anthony was a complex character, and God knows we tangled in moments, as true brothers can,” Henry said, being honest in his post. “But I loved him, and understood him better than I was sometimes willing to let on. Trouble fades, and family remains — with hands reached across the table.”
Ciccone was known to have a tumultuous personal life, and his struggles with addiction and homelessness were well-documented. In a 2011 interview with the Daily Mail, he spoke about his estrangement from his family, saying, “I’m a zero in their eyes; a non-person. I’m an embarrassment. If I froze to death, my family probably wouldn’t know or care about it for six months.”
There were times when he was reportedly living on the streets.
According to the Daily Mail, Ciccone took many odd jobs throughout his life. At times, he worked at a vineyard owned by his father, though he was reportedly fired from that role. He also stated that he once worked as a photographer’s assistant while he lived in New York City, and he once was also employed in the fishing industry in Alaska.
Ciccone’s relationship with his sister Madonna was also the subject of media attention, and the two were known to have a complicated relationship. In 2011, Ciccone told the Daily Mail, “I’m a person being treated like I don’t exist, like I’m invisible. If anything happens to my sister, I would call her a traitor if she didn’t call me. How could you not call your brother?”
“My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time,” Ciccone also 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 cautioned.
Madonna has not publicly commented on her brother’s passing, but she did like Henry’s post on Instagram.
Ciccone’s death has been met with an outpouring of love and support from fans and celebrities alike for Madonna and her family.
Henry’s Instagram post ended with a sweet goodbye to his brother: “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.”
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