Francine “Frankie” Lons, the mother of R&B singer Keyshia Cole, has passed away. She was 61.
TMZ reports that Lons died of an overdose and on her birthday. Reportedly, Cole’s brother Sam confirmed that she passed on Sunday (July 18) unfortunately after relapsing and taking drugs to party on her born day.
Keyshia Cole was given up for adoption by Frankie and her father, Virgil Hunter, and she was raised by family friends. She would reconnect with Lons as an adult, and after she was well established as an accomplished singer.
Lons had a lengthy and well-documented battle with drug addiction. Lons rose to fame while appearing on her daughter’s Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is reality television series that ran on BET for three seasons from 2006 to 2008. A spinoff show titled Frankie & Neffe starring herself and her daughter Neffeteria Pugh would last for a sole season in 2009.
Always volatile on the screen, she came to be loved by viewers as she often put all her troubles out there for the world to see, and root for her success.
Rest in power Frankie Lons.