Following the death of her eldest brother, Anthony Ciccone, Madonna took to Instagram to thank Ciccone for the many “introductions” he gave her, to various cultural concepts and influences.
The caption for the post read, “Thank you for blowing my mind as a young girl and introducing me to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Buddhism, Taoism, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Expansive Thinking, Outside the Box. You planted many important seeds.”
Ciccone passed at 66-years-old. Sources report that he and Madonna had a complex relationship, stemming from both her celebrity status and his addiction issues. Ciccone was previously homeless and struggled with alcohol and substance abuse issues.
Madonna’s brother-in-law, Joe Henry, who is married to her sister, Melanie Ciccone, was the first to announce the news.
“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. As brother Dave Henry (who took this photograph) notes here, 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. 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.”
Though he faced many struggles, things seemed to be looking up for Ciccone. In 2011, he claimed he was still homeless, but received help from his family in 2017. He was in a rehabilitation center shortly before his passing.
A cause of death for Ciccone has yet to be revealed.