Keyshia Cole’s biological mother, Francine ‘Frankie’ Lons, died on Sunday at age 61.
The singer-songwriter’s brother told TMZ that Frankie died after taking drugs during her birthday celebration in what appears to be an accidental overdose.
Cole’s sister Elite Noel confirmed that their mother died on her birthday in an Instagram story published by The Shade Room.
Cole has not made a public statement about her mother’s death when writing this report.
However, the Heaven Sent singer has documented her troubled relationship with Frankie and how her battle with drug addiction affected their relationship.
Keyshia Cole, a successful r&b singer and reality TV star, was given up for adoption at age two and was raised by family friends Leon and Yvonne Cole.
She is the biological daughter of Frankie Lons and well-regarded boxing coach Virgil Hunter.
After becoming a successful musician, Cole reconnected with her mother and discovered her biological father is Virgil Hunter, after a DNA test.
Frankie Lons documented struggle with sobriety
Lons appeared on several reality television shows with her daughter, including Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, Keyshia & Daniel: Family First, Keyshia Cole: All In, and spin-off series Frankie & Neffe.
Frankie developed a fanbase that rooted for her sobriety due to her honesty, emotional vulnerability, and charismatic personality.
In Keyshia Cole: My New Life, a TV special that aired in 2019, Frankie Lons spoke candidly about her death and her relationship with her famous daughter.
In 2018, Cole posted a throwback video and a message about the emotional turmoil of caring for a mother who suffers from drug addiction.
“This was 2 1/2 years ago. Every time my mom relapse, it breaks my heart more than it’s already been broken. I’m hoping, if any of u are dealing with a family member who’s battling with drug addiction, that you, yourself are learning how to cope with the struggle of it all. And all the pain it brings to see a loved one constantly relapsing. See them go back to the streets Because that’s what they’re used to, or would rather be. I really miss you! And will always love u”
In February 2020, Cole praised her mother for voluntarily checking into rehab the previous month. TMZ reported that Frankie’s effort paid off at the time as she achieved 60 days of sobriety.
Cole’s ex-husband Daniel Gibson and former boyfriend Niko Khale paid tribute to Frankie on Instagram.
Frankie Lons is survived by her children.