Donda West, the mother and onetime manager of rapper Kanye West, died Saturday in Los Angeles.
Her publicist, Patricia Green, told BBC News she passed away “as the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure,” but gave no more details. West’s spokesman said the family “asks for privacy during this time of grief.”
West, 58, a retired professor and former chairwoman of the Chicago State University English department, was a tireless supporter of her son as he both earned success and stirred up controversy.
“Kanye likes to think as a hobby and speak his own mind. He was always like that,” Donda West told InStyle earlier this year. “He came out of the womb looking like he had that attitude.”
As CEO of West Brands LLC and co-founder of the Kanye West Foundation, she teamed with her son to develop a nonprofit that aimed to combat the dropout problem in high schools in 2005. In May, she released the book Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.
Jay-Z dedicated his sold-out Sunday night concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York to rapper Kanye West’s mother, who died over the weekend. Near the end of his nearly two-hour set, the rapper asked for a moment of silence to pay respect to Donda West.
“Let’s get serious for a minute,” Jay-Z told the energetic crowd during his encore performance. “This show is dedicated to Kanye West who had a death in the family.” The crowd quickly became silent. “We got you, Kanye. Stay strong,” he added before launching into his final song of the night, “Roc Boys.”
My prayers go out to Kanye and his family. I know his mother was his rock. RIP