Nick Cannon grieves the death of youngest son, Zen, from brain cancer

Nick Cannon’s 5-month-old son, Zen, has died of brain cancer, the TV personality and father of six other children announced Tuesday on his daytime show.


Nick Cannon is grieving the loss of his 5-month-old son, Zen, who has died of brain cancer, the talk-show host and TV personality said Tuesday as he introduced his syndicated program.

“We called him Z Chillin — he was always smiling, always having the most beautiful spirit,” Cannon said.

Cannon said he and Zen’s mother, model Alyssa Scott, noticed the infant had a cough and some problems breathing early on, along with “a nice size head.” At first, Cannon chalked that up to what he called the “Cannon head”: “All my kids got really nice, round heads,” the comedian said.

They wound up taking Zen to the doctor to check out his sinuses, but it turned out the problem was worse: hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain, and a tumor. Zen immediately had brain surgery, including a shunt to remove the fluid.

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Cannon said he “embraced every moment” of his young son’s life, and praised Zen’s mom.

“Alyssa was just, like, the strongest woman I’ve ever seen,” Cannon said. “She never had an argument, never was angry, was emotional when she needed to be, but was always the best mom and continues to be the best mom possible.”

Around Thanksgiving, he said, the cancer’s progress sped up. “It was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was ... ,” he said, choking up.

“This weekend I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with him. We woke up on Sunday, got to spend the weekend with him ... and felt like I wanted to go to the water, close to the ocean,” Cannon said. He explained that Sundays are usually spent getting ready for the week ahead and flying from California to New York, where his show is taped.

At this point, near tears, he struggled to hold back his emotions.

‘Nick [Cannon] has not only apologized and taken responsibility for his comments, but he has also worked to educate himself,’ said MTV in a statement.

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“I’m holding my son for the last time. But it was a beautiful setting,” Cannon said, noting that at that point he was still preparing for his day as usual. But on the way to the airport, he said he just had to turn back.

“I turned around and not only did we get to see the sun rise, but we got to see the sun set too,” he said.

The exact date of Zen Cannon’s death is unclear.

“I didn’t know how I was going to handle today. I didn’t know how, but I just really wanted to, I wanted to grieve with my family,” he said, gesturing toward the audience. “People who love me. I love you too. I didn’t want to make it about any pageantry.”


Cannon, who had thanked the doctors at Childrens Hospital of Orange County for all their help and care, then went on with the show.

The 41-year-old host of “The Nick Cannon Show,” “The Masked Singer” and “Wild ‘N Out” has six other children: twin son and daughter Moroccan and Monroe (Roc and Roe) with ex-wife Mariah Carey; son Golden and daughter Powerful Queen with model Brittany Bell; and twin sons Zion Mixolydian and Zillion Heir with DJ Abby De La Rosa. They range in age from nearly 6 months old to 13 years old.