Earlier this month, R&B singer Keyshia Cole lost her adoptive father, Leon Cole, who died from Covid-19 complications. This is the second time Keyshia has experienced the unforeseen death of a parent this year, with her mother Frankie Lons passing only months prior from an overdose after a lifelong battle with addiction.

Born in December of 1939, Leon Cole was an esteemed Canadian musician and radio broadcaster, who rose to prominence as the host of the music program RSVP on CBC Stereo from 1985 to 1995. Leon studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto.

After his ten years as a CBC host, Cole chronicled his experiences in the 1996 book, Dear RSVP. When asked about his experience with broadcasting, Leon told Arts East that “the greatest reward was feeling connected to a community of music lovers, right across the country.”

After her father’s passing, Keyshia revealed the tragedy in a lengthy Instagram post to her 6.8 million followers, stating that “Unfortunately, my father didn’t make it through his complications, due to COVID-19. So here we are.” She continued by professing that “he’s the entire reason my last name is COLE, the only father I knew, he did such a great job here on earth!!!!! He made sure (Even tho he wasn’t my biological father) to keep a stable foundation and roof over all of our heads during our upbringing!!!!”

“My childhood was filled with 40L and 52L rides alongside my father!!! I loved having a bus pass until I was 18 years old. He was a very wise man,” she continued. “Taught me and my siblings that knowledge is power!! Our many long talks of love and how a man needs to treat a woman may be the reason a man hasn’t been able to hold on to me too long, (LOL) (JK) (But serious). He was the greatest example of love, 51 years of marriage to my mother Yvonne Cole.”

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