Big Sean Mourns the Death of His Grandmother

Big Sean

Big Sean Mourns the Death of His Grandmother

Rapper posts heartfelt Instagram tribute to a "true hero" after the passing of family matriarch.

Published December 24, 2014

In a series of loving social media messages, Big Sean opened up to fans about the loss of his grandmother, Mildred V. Leonard, who passed away last week.

"My grandma passed away a couple days ago. I haven't said anything to anyone because honestly I feel like she's still here," he wrote Tuesday (Dec. 23) via Instagram, alongside a photo of her. 

"She supported me so much in every aspect and part of my life, even when I went against what was becoming traditional in our family, and didn't go to college to pursue music," Sean continued. "She made a better life for me and the rest of my family, and I will forever be grateful I got to know and be loved by such an amazing woman!"

Leonard graduated with a bachelors degree from West Virginia State University and a masters from the University of Michigan. She was one of the first Black female captains in World War II, and later, a teacher, a counselor and a police officer in Detroit — the latter of which was especially groundbreaking for a woman at the time.

She was a "true hero," he wrote, and then continued the tribute with two additional posts, using a photo montage and his song "Memories" as the soundtrack. 

"She was the best grandma anyone could ever ask for," he noted.

Watch Big Sean, his mother Myra Anderson and Mildred Leonard share family stories (like the time Kanye West called the then-unsigned rapper for a chance over at G.O.O.D. Music) in the 2013 special Hip Hop Mothers below.

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(Photo: Judy Eddy/

Written by BET-Staff


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