It's just been revealed that Anthony Ciccone suffered from various health problems including throat cancer before he passed away in February in a nursing facility.
Madonna's brother Anthony Ciccone passed away from a number of health issues, including cancer. According to his death certificate which was obtained by TMZ, Anthony, 66, the eldest brother of the pop superstar, passed away in February from a combination of respiratory failure and throat cancer, specifically oropharyngeal cancer.
The document states that tobacco use contributed to Anthony's death and Oropharyngeal cancer can be caused by smoking.
Despite years of animosity between the "Material Girl" singer, 64, and her older sibling, she was said to have been footing the bill for the Michigan nursing facility where he passed away. Page Six reported, "When Anthony recently became unable to care for himself, his superstar younger sister stepped in to pay for his rehabilitation."
Insiders also told TMZ that he reportedly ripped out his feeding and breathing tubes. Anthony - who spent years battling alcoholism and became estranged from his family when he ended up homeless - is said to have died knowing "the consequences" of removing his feeding equipment. Madonna's family are also said to have been at Anthony's bedside during his final days.
Anthony is thought to have spiralled into depression and alcohol abuse after the death of his mum, Madonna, and his problems are said to have deepened after he was barred from seeing the son he had in 1993 after he and his partner split six years after his birth.
Madonna took to her Instagram to pay tribute to her late brother and thanked God she still has her "creative life" to keep her going. She thanked Anthony for "blowing" her mind in her first post since his death, and followed it up with another that showed her in rehearsals with dancers for her upcoming tour.
She captioned it, "Thank God I have my creative life to inspire me and keep me going.... #madonnacelebrationtour." An hour earlier she paid tribute to her literature, philosophy and music-obsessed sibling by thanking him for passing on his knowledge and recommendations.
She posted on a black and white picture of her partying with friends and a moody-looking Anthony in their younger days, "Thank you for blowing my mind as a young girl and introducing me to Charlie Parker, Miles David, Buddhism, Taoism, Charles Bukowski, Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, expansive thinking outing the box. You planted many important seeds."