Donald Glover is known for being notoriously private about his personal life, but the artist, who performs under the name Childish Gambino, opened up to his fans Monday night.
"I lost my father a couple weeks ago," he said in an emotional moment that a fan shared to Reddit. "And I wanted to play him some of the new songs. But he didn't wanna hear 'em, 'cause he was like, 'I know they'll be great.'"
Glover then went on to play "Riot," a funkadelic track off his latest album Awaken, My Love!, and dedicated it to his father.
In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Glover revealed that his dad helped spark his interest in the funkadelic genre.
“I remember listening to songs my dad would play — albums by the Isleys or Funkadelic — and not understanding the feeling I was feeling,” the Atlanta star said. “I remember hearing a Funkadelic scream and being like, ‘Wow, that’s sexual and it’s scary.’ Not having a name for that, though; just having a feeling. That’s what made it great.”
His father was always extremely supportive of his son, as proven by a Twitter account, @DonaldsDad, which often expressed how proud he was of the actor-singer-director. In one of his final tweets about his son, he wrote that "He's been amazing forever."
Glover made no indication that his father had passed away in the recent weeks, which were jammed with tour dates, and he will likely continue to work even after the tour ends. In addition to new music he has been showcasing on the tour, his movie with Rihanna, Guava Island, is due out soon.
Glover ended a show early in September, but many fans speculated at the time that it was due to a foot injury.
"I was at the Childish Gambino concert and it ended so weirdly. He just kinda left the stage and... never came back. He's such a performer and I hope he's okay. Just felt empty. We didn't get Redbone or 3005," one concertgoer tweeted.
"Childish Gambino apparently hurt his foot mid concert and dipped out. Everyone is so confused but I've been sitting in my seat for 20 minutes cause I think it's all a trick to see who the true fans are..." another wrote.
Glover himself is a dad of two, having welcomed his first child with girlfriend in 2016 and their second child either in late 2017 or early 2018. When asked by Entertainment Tonight about his girlfriend in January 2018, he said, "She's great. She's good. Baby's born, so she's happier now."
After he became a dad for the first time, he told Billboard that being a parent is something "everybody grapples with."
“It’s something everybody grapples with: why we’re programmed the way we’re programmed. A child is information. You’re programming this thing," he said, concluding that, “At the end of the day, all you can really do is plant a seed that you’re not going to see grow into a tree.”