Tanella Alleyne, Rihanna’s Cousin, Dead At 28

Tanella Alleyne, Rihanna’s cousin, has suddenly died at age 28, Loop Barbados News reported. The funeral occurred on Aug. 28, 2023, where Alleyne was laid to rest at Barbados’ St. George Parish Church. The Barbados church played Rihanna’s ballad “Lift Me Up” during the service to send her home. It’s currently unclear whether or not Riri was present at the funeral.

Julie-Ann Bryan, Tanella’s adoptive mom, spoke to the church’s congregation about her cause of death. She stated that on Aug. 6, 2023, Alleyne received a CT scan, in which the doctor saw “a big black mass.” When her adoptive father asked for clarification, Tanella responded, “a big black 4×4.” No other details about her possible brain injury were shared.

Bryan spoke about her daughter at the funeral and celebrated her love for life. “[Tanella] lived a life of gratitude with an outrageous amount of attitude, sprinkled heavily with confidence,” she said. “There was something special about Nella. She was bold and courageous. Our love for each other was lit.”

Reverend Suzanne Archer of St. George Parish Church also offered words of love and condolence to Alleyne’s family. “We are all gathered here today in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the life of dearly departed Tanella, and I know most of you are thinking like that Michael Jackson song says, gone too soon,” she said.

“If it is one thing that we all know, but we may not think about a lot, is that death is inevitable for everyone. Yet despite this knowledge and the fact that you have lost several [family members] before, including her mother, brother, and twin sister, you never seem to be prepared for it, especially when the deceased is so young.”

Alleyne died six years after her brother Tavon was shot and killed in 2017. He was 21. During that time, Rihanna took to Instagram to send her condolences. “RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms! never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man! #endgunviolence.”

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