Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of suicide
Regina King has paid tribute to her son Ian Alexander Jr., who has died at the age of 26.
According to a spokesperson for the family, Alexander Jr. died by suicide. “Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”
Alexander Jr. was a musician who performed under the name desduné and he often accompanied King to red carpet events. The pair had matching tattoos reading “unconditional love” in Aramaic and last week, King shared his latest single ‘Green Eyes’ on her Instagram.
His debut EP ‘Clementine’ was meant to be released this month and he was due to perform in Los Angeles on January 28.
“It’s been a minute but now we back at the jump off. Don’t you want to say you supported desduné before the blowup,” he wrote on Instagram earlier this week, announcing the show.
Speaking about King at the 2019 Golden Globes, Alexander Jr. told E! News: “She’s just a super mom. She doesn’t really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It’s really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with.”
In 2021, he took to Instagram to celebrate the actor/director’s 50th birthday. “To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something I will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for,” he wrote.
“To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable,” he added. “The whole Marvel universe ain’t got shit on you, you’re the real superhero!”
Following the news, people have taken to social media to share tributes to Alexander Jr. and offer their support to King.
PRAYERS for Regina King family & Ian Alexander Sr. family🙏🏾Dear LORD give them STRENGTH during this time🙏🏾💜
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) January 22, 2022
My heart hurts for Regina King and her family. God please watch over them.
— The Chosen One : I 💖 YOU FRESHIE 4EVER (@KidCudi) January 22, 2022
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) January 22, 2022
Mental health is so important and scary cause you could have a momma like this who loves you down and depression will still win. This is hurting me so bad man https://t.co/R5G6t3VKec
— 🤎 (@notalottamani) January 22, 2022
— BET (@BET) January 22, 2022
Friends Please join me in a prayer for @ReginaKing. She is pure light, and all love. Her kindness knows no bounds. And for a heart like hers to have lost her son? I cannot imagine the grief. Lift her up in whatever way you may. Sending love, and deepest condolences.
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) January 22, 2022
I send all my love to Regina King as she navigates such a breathtaking loss. I know how it feels and I hope she is surrounded by love right now. Unimaginable.
— roxane gay (@rgay) January 22, 2022
Prayers …and my deepest and sincere condolences to Regina King and her family.
Rest in Heavenly Peace, Ian Alexander Jr. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🕊🕊🕊 pic.twitter.com/2jK1qEMRSR
— Jill Marie Jones (@MsJillMJones) January 22, 2022
Praying for Regina King. She needs all the grace and light that can flow her way right now. 🙏🏾
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 22, 2022
Sending all of my love and condolences to Regina King. I pray that she’s surrounded by love and healing energy.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) January 22, 2022
For help and advice on mental health:
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians (CALL MUSIC MINDS MATTER ON: 0808 802 8008)
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues (CALL: 0800 030 6789)
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day