DaBaby experienced a tragic loss on Tuesday when TMZ reported that his brother, Glen Johnson, died by suicide. Sources told the media outlet that Johnson died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Charlotte, North Carolina. The rapper paid tribute to his brother in his Instagram bio, “LONG LIVE MY BROTHER.” Outside of the bio change, DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, has yet to comment on his brother’s passing publicly.
While details of Johnson’s death remain scarce, TMZ noted that he shared a video of himself earlier in the day in a car with a gun. That same video also saw him upset and disheveled, and reports suggest his death came shortly after he posted the clip.
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After rising to fame in 2019 after years of working his way up and putting out mixtapes, the Charlotte-based rapper has enjoyed some serious success. His first two studio albums — both released in 2019 — peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He followed that up with a third album this year that also went to No. 1. His mainstream success saw him earn two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. He picked up his first award win at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards for Best New Hip Hop Artist and later won for Best Male Hip Hop Artist at the 2020 BET Awards.
While busy with his music, DaBaby was very active ahead of the election in North Carolina. He teamed up with the #NoCap2020 campaign to spread the word about voting and the importance of getting out and casting ballots. He was on the streets encouraging voters on Tuesday shortly before his brother’s death was discovered. A press release by the #NoCap2020 campaign explained why the rapper was so adamant about being involved in this movement, “...after seeing everything’s that’s happened across the world, in our communities -- it is a necessity to get my people involved, especially in my hometown.” The 28-year-old shared that he has voted before but never had this level of investment as he does going into this year's election.
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.