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Controversial YouTube relationship influencer Kevin Samuels has died, mother says

A white triangle inside of a red square inside of a white square inside of a black square that reads "YouTube"
This 2018 photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad.
(Associated Press)

Kevin Samuels, a popular and controversial YouTube influencer who was frequently criticized for giving misogynistic relationship advice, particularly about Black women, died this week, his mother told NBC News.

After emergency officials responded to a 911 call at an apartment complex in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, a woman at the scene told police that “she met Mr. Samuels last night, came to his apartment, and spent the night with him,” according to an incident report released by Atlanta police. “Mr. Samuels complained of chest pain, and she attempted to help him, but he fell on top of her and [she] proceeded to notify 911.” The incident report did not give an age, but said Samuels, who is Black, was born in 1965, making him either 56 or 57 years old.

Samuels’ mother, Beverly Samuels-Burch, told NBC News that she learned about her son’s death from social media. “That was a terrible thing for social media to put that out. I didn’t even know. I hadn’t even been notified,” she told NBC News on Friday. “All I’m doing is requesting that people pray for us.”

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Samuels’ public profile, which had increasingly grown over the last two years, had more than 1.4 million subscribers to his YouTube channel at the time of his death. The rapper Future recently featured Samuels in his music video for the single “Worst Day.”

Usually appearing in a suit and glasses, he doled out commentary that was often particularly harsh on feminism and on women he accused of having overly inflated views of themselves. Some of his most popular videos have titles such as “Mother of 2 Believes She’s The Prize,” “Danger Zone Diva Wants It All, NOW!” and “Modern Women Are Average At Best?” His final video from a day ago, on Instagram, was captioned, “Modern Women Are A Party of 1?”

One Change.org petition from 2021 that accumulated more than 30,000 signatures called for Samuels to be removed from YouTube and Instagram, saying that he “galvanized a community of men of all races and nationalities in the outspoken hatred of women.”

“When the name Kevin Samuels comes up, you can expect some groans, a lot of anger, and once in a while, the odd supporter who believes in his ‘tough love’ style of relationship coaching,” Refinery29 wrote in a 2021 profile.

In a personal business website, Samuels also identified himself as an image consultant who was available by request.


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