The cause of death of Madonna’s eldest brother was determined to be a combination of respiratory failure and throat cancer, it has been reported.
Anthony Ciccone died in February at the age of 66, according to reports, from mouth and throat cancer, which can be caused by smoking.
TMZ reported that the death certificate shows he was cremated and that tobacco use contributed to his death.
When he died, he was being treated at a Michigan nursing facility paid for by Madonna.
The publication claims that Anthony had his feeding and breathing tubes removed two days before his death, despite knowing the consequences.
Cause of Death: The cause of death of Madonna’s eldest brother has been determined to be a combination of respiratory failure and throat cancer, it has been reported.
Tragic: Anthony Ciccone died in February at the age of 66, reportedly from mouth and throat cancer, which can be caused by smoking
Madonna broke her silence on his death a day after news of his death broke via Instagram.
While paying tribute to her late sibling, the Queen of Pop, 64, fondly recalled the wisdom he passed on to her, from different religions 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, and expansive thinking,” she captioned a sepia throwback. “You have sown many important seeds.”
In the picture, which was uploaded to her Instagram story on Monday morning, she can be seen smiling at a crowded table alongside numerous friends and Anthony.
While she had her arm around a man in a black leather jacket and a leopard scarf draped over his shoulders, the singer’s sibling looked handsome as he looked away from the camera.
Paying tribute: Madonna broke her silence on his death a day after news of his death broke via Instagram
Less than an hour later, she shared behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals for 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 shot along with a “grateful” hashtag.
In the video, she can be seen working with her dancers on stage before saying, “See you later.”
In a statement, Joe Henry, husband of Madonna’s sister Melanie Ciccone, wrote: “My brother-in-law, Anthony Gerard Ciccone, left this earthly plane last night. I’ve known him since I was 15, in the spring of our lives in Michigan so many years have passed.
Born in Michigan to Catholic parents, Madonna was raised in suburban Detroit with five siblings, the eldest of whom was Anthony, who was born two years before her in 1956.
Although she moved to New York in 1978 to pursue dancing and had a highly successful career, he mostly stayed in Michigan, occasionally working for her father before becoming a victim of alcoholism and homelessness.
Tribute: Cicconi pictured as a young man in a heartfelt tribute to him posted by his brother-in-law on Saturday
“Anthony was a complex character; and God knows we’ve tangled in moments as true brothers can. But I loved him and understood him better than I sometimes wanted to admit,” he added.
“But anger passes; and family leftovers – with outstretched hands across the table. So farewell, Brother Anthony. I want to imagine that the God your blessed mother (and mine) believed in has her there waiting to receive you. At least for today, let no one dissuade me from this vision,’ Ciccone said at the end of his note.
Like Madonna, Cicconi spent time in New York in the late 1980s in his thirties.
Carolina Gengo, 59, who was dating 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’s all he really had. He read a lot about life and philosophy,’ Gengo said. “And he wanted to sit around and talk about it,” she added.
“He talked about what it was like to be Madonna’s brother, he didn’t like being known as Madonna’s brother,” she said.
Gengo recounted an occasion when his sister’s assistant called on his birthday to ask how much money he wanted as a gift. That, she said, alienated him.
After a few years of sleeping under a Michigan bridge, Madonna’s family said they would be reuniting the estranged Anthony in 2017.
It came after years of publicly implying 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 for six months.”
Ciccone said at the time he was living under a river bridge in Michigan with a sleeping bag and his only companion, another street dweller named Michael.
Struggles: While Madonna moved to New York in 1978 to pursue dancing, her eldest brother stayed in Michigan and became a victim of alcoholism and homelessness
Flashback: Ciccone is pictured homeless in Michigan in 2011 with his friend “Matty,” who was also homeless at the time
Helping hand: Madonna had known of her brother’s plight and had repeatedly offered to help him by paying for him to go to rehab
Ciccone said he has been among the homeless in the Traverse City ski resort 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 sleeps under the Union St. bridge in Traverse City.
“My family basically turned their backs on me when I was going through a tough time,” he said. “You think I haven’t answered that question a million times – why is my sister multi-bazillionaire and I homeless on the streets? Never say Never. That could happen to anyone.”
He said it made him angry when some found it funny that the brother of such a famous star would end up living under a bridge. He insisted at the time that he didn’t want any of her money — whether it was offered or not.
“I don’t want free handouts because of my sister,” he said. “I’m not looking for advertising.” He instead relies on the generosity of soup kitchens run by local churches for food.
Ciccone, who claims to have previously worked in Alaska’s fishing industry and as a photographer’s assistant in New York, now makes a few bucks doing odd jobs and collecting bottles and cans from people’s trash cans.
Life: Ciccone said he once worked in Alaska’s fishing industry and as a photographer’s assistant in New York
Problems: His father and stepmother own a vineyard about 20 miles north of where Anthony sleeps under the Union St. bridge in Traverse City (pictured)
Madonna had known of his plight and had repeatedly offered to help by paying for him to go to rehab. His father also offered to give him his job back if he could get professional help.
However, he had not always been receptive. “My family seems to think that rehab is some sort of magical panacea for life’s ills,” he once said.
Still, things seemed to get better for Cicconi after a stint in rehab in 2017 and his reintegration into family life.
Karen McCarthy, a founder of rehab clinic Dann’s House, confirmed his stay, telling the Sunday People: “Anthony loved being at Dann’s House for quite a while and greatly improved his life while he was with us.
“Dann’s House does a good job with vulnerable people. We’ve seen tremendous, positive results.’
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