Madonna salutes late brother Anthony Ciccone for ‘blowing my mind as a young girl’

A woman with long wavy blond hair in a black floral blazer with metallic detailing posing at a red carpet
Madonna, shown at the 11th annual Billboard Women in Music honors in 2016, honored her late brother, who died on Feb. 24 at the age of 66.
(Evan Agostini / Invision via Associated Press)
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Madonna broke her silence Monday on the recent death of her elder brother Anthony Ciccone, thanking him on her Instagram Story for introducing her to new ways of thinking.

“Thank you for blowing my mind as a young girl and introducing me to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Buddhism, Taoism, Charles Bukowski, Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, Expansive Thinking, Outside the Box,” the 64-year-old music superstar wrote, captioning a vintage group photo featuring her at a dining table and Ciccone a few seats away.

“You planted many important seeds,” the star added, signing off with a heart emoji.

Ciccone died Friday at age 66. His death was announced Saturday on Instagram by musician Joe Henry, who is married to Madonna’s younger sister Melanie Ciccone.


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“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,” Henry wrote, sharing a black-and-white portrait of Ciccone shot by Dave Henry.

“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 continued. “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.”

No details about the death were provided. According to the Associated Press, public records show Ciccone was most recently living in Michigan, where he and his seven siblings grew up. The “Vogue” and “Material Girl” singer was the third child born to Silvio Ciccone and the late Madonna Louise Ciccone. (It was Madonna’s younger brother, Christopher Ciccone, who released an unflattering tell-all in 2008 about life with his sister.)

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In 2011, Anthony Ciccone told the Michigan Messenger that he was homeless and living under a bridge in Michigan after losing his job a year and a half prior.

“My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time,” he told the website. “You think I haven’t answered this kind of question a bazillion times — why my sister is a multibazillionaire and I’m homeless on the street?”

Although the siblings had a fraught relationship, TMZ reported Tuesday that the two were far from estranged. The seven-time Grammy winner paid for Ciccone’s stay at a Michigan rehab facility before his death, the website reported, adding that the family intervened in his later years to assist him.