Madonna – as are the rest of her family members – is mourning the loss of her older brother, Anthony Ciccone. He was 66.
It was the pop-star's brother-in-law, Joe Henry, who first revealed the sad news, with a heartfelt tribute on Instagram over the weekend. Joe is married to Madonna's younger sister, Melanie Ciccone. The Like a Virgin hitmaker also penned a heartfelt tribute on Monday.
The singer comes from a family of seven siblings, she grew up with two older brothers, Anthony and Martin, and three younger siblings, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie. Their parents are Madonna Louise (née Fortin) and Silvio Anthony "Tony" Ciccone, though Madonna Sr. passed away in 1963 from breast cancer, when her famous daughter was only five years old.
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Madonna took to Instagram some days after her brother's passing to share a tribute to him, sharing a black and white throwback photo in which the two are sitting around a table with a group of friends. "Thank you for blowing my mind as a young girl," she wrote, crediting her older brother for introducing her to the likes of Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Miles Davis, and more. "You planted many important seeds," she endearingly added.
In his heartbreaking Instagram post, Joe, who is a musician himself, wrote: "My brother-in-law, Anthony Gerard Ciccone, exited this earthly plane last evening," adding: "I've known him since I was 15, in the spring of our lives in Michigan so many years now gone."
Madonna took to Instagram to pay tribute to her late brother
Madonna and her siblings were born in the mid-western state, and they grew up in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Rochester Hills, the latter formerly known as Avon Township.
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The star's brother-in-law further wrote: "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."
Madonna's best friend, Debi Mazar, commented: "I adored him back when we were younger."
He then explained: "But trouble fades; and family remains — with hands reached across the table. Farewell, then, brother Anthony."
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"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," he concluded.
A middle child, Madonna first hit the scene in her early twenties during the early 1980s
The eldest of the seven Ciccone children, Anthony had a tumultuous relationship with Madonna and his other siblings.
He struggled with addiction and alcoholism, at one point becoming homeless, and though he told The Daily Mail in 2011 that: "If I froze to death, my family probably wouldn't know or care about it for six months," it has been reported that he underwent a rehabilitation treatment and eventually reconnected with his family.
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