Rihanna’s cousin, Tanella Alleyne, sadly passed away at the age of 28. This marks another heartbreaking loss for Rihanna’s family, as Tanella’s brother, Tavon, was fatally shot on Boxing Day six years earlier.
Tanella was a beloved figure on social media, with over 55,000 followers on Instagram. Tragically, she also lost her twin sister when they were just 14 years old.
On a somber Monday, friends and family gathered at the St. George Parish Church in Barbados to mourn Tanella’s passing. During the service, Rihanna’s touching ballad, “Lift Me Up,” was played.
In a heartfelt eulogy, Tanella’s adoptive mother, Julie-Ann Bryan, remembered her as a woman filled with gratitude, confidence, and a bold spirit. She described their love as something special and profound.
The exact cause of Tanella’s passing was not disclosed, but her mother mentioned that doctors had discovered a concerning “black mass” during a CT scan before her death.
Rihanna, who recently gave birth to her second child, a baby boy, on August 3, was reportedly seen overcome with emotion during Tavon’s funeral, dabbing tears beneath her white sunglasses.
To honor Tanella’s life, attendees at the service wore white, a symbol of respect for the departed and their achievements, as seen in some cultures.
Fans of Rihanna and Tanella left heartfelt tributes on Tanella’s last Instagram post, uploaded on June 12, expressing their shock and condolences.
Tanella had a powerful message to share as well. Her mother passed away at 27 due to complications of HIV, and Tanella used her platform to raise awareness about the condition. She aimed to change lives, shift perspectives, and empower people living with HIV/AIDS.
Tanella believed in her purpose to inspire those who felt powerless and to challenge the stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS. She sought to silence myths and encourage self-esteem among those who had been categorized.
Tragically, Tanella’s brother, Tavon, lost his life to gun violence at the age of 21, just one day after spending Christmas with Rihanna and their family. His murder remains unsolved.
Rihanna shared her grief on social media, expressing disbelief that she had held her cousin just the night before. She called for an end to gun violence and expressed her enduring love for Tavon.
The Alleyne family has faced profound challenges, but Tanella’s legacy as an inspiring advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS and her memory as a beloved family member will continue to shine brightly.