Keyshia Cole opens up about her mother Frankie Lons death: I love you so much!4 min read
Frankie Lons, the mother of singer Keyshia Cole who appeared alongside her daughters on the BET reality series “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is,” has died.
Cole confirmed her mother died in a social media tribute Thursday, alongside a series of photos of her mother throughout the years.
“This is so hard man. Can’t really even find the words. SMH. I honestly don’t even know how to feel,” Cole captioned her post. “You can never prepare for something like this… Ever!!! but you will be missed. It’s crazy because… For weeks I’ve been quoting you, from the goose that laid the golden egg, to calling Neffe shoes slow burners, cause they were bought scuffed up already your humor was unmatched!!!”
Cole added her late mother was “naturally so funny, that’s what I loved about your personality… we all did.”
“I created this post to show my love and appreciation for your life and I would like to thank my fans + supporters, shooot your supporters and fans, for being here with us during these hard times, and the love that you all have for us…..the love for all your children was definitely felt,” the singer continued. “When u said all you want is to have ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN IN ONE PLACE, AT ONE TIME meant the most to you, And I’m completely down to do that for you. Even through our differences …. WE LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! Frank da bank!”
Cole did not disclose her mother’s cause or date of death.
A spokesperson for BET said in a statement Monday to USA TODAY that the network was “saddened to hear the news of our BET family Frankie Lons’ passing.”
“Our viewers first got to meet and know her in ‘Keyshia Cole: All In’ as Keyshia Cole’s birth mother and in multiple other unscripted projects, including ‘Keyshia Cole: My New Life’ and ‘Frankie & Neffe.’ Viewers also go to see first-hand Frankie’s trials and tribulations as she battled addiction and as she tried to mend her relationship with her daughters,” the statement continued. “Frankie was a resilient woman, mom, and friend with so much to offer and will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Keyshia, Neffe, and the family during this difficult time.”
Lons’ former stepson Daniel “Booby” Gibson, who shares a son with Cole from their marriage from 2011-20, also paid tribute to Cole’s mother this week, writing he’s “thankful I got to share some real time (with)someone real as you.”
“Frank the Bank 🗣 i love u forever,” he captioned an Instagram picture of himself with Lons, Cole and their son Daniel Gibson Jr., now 11. “From day 1 you showed me love.. i mean after you roasted my big (expletive) shoes lol it wasn’t never a day we saw each other we weren’t laughing bout sum’n.… legends never die & you (definitely) that in my eyes.”
Cole’s sister, Elite Noel, first revealed Lons’ death on her Instagram Story early Monday morning, writing, “worse pain ever… to see my mama in a body bag on her birthday! My heart so (expletive) broke.”
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Lons’ death follows a long battle with addiction as documented on “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is,” which ran for three seasons from 2006-2008. Lons quickly became a fan favorite, landing her own spinoff series on BET in 2009 with her daughter Neffeteria Pugh, called “Frankie & Neffe.”
She also appeared on the 2015 reality series “Keyshia Cole: All In” and most recently “Keyshia Cole: My New Life” in 2019, where Cole and Lons discussed morality in an episode.
“Some things happen out there in the streets and it scares a child,” Cole said.
Lons replied, “If I die today you’re going to move on and you’ve got to make it. You’ve got to live for Keyshia. You have to live for you and your family not nobody else. You don’t have to do nothin’ but die and pay taxes, but you have to move on if anything happens to me. At the end of the day you’ll see me later. Up there.”
Cole is Lons’ biological daughter, but the singer was raised in Oakland by a foster family after her “mother was on the streets and couldn’t take care of her,” her foster mom Yvonne Cole said during an episode of “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.”
“My mother is a wonderful, loving person. It’s just the drug thing,” Cole said during the 2007 episode. “There’s nothing you can really do about it.”
In 2018, Cole opened up about the toll her mother’s battle with addiction has taken on her under an emotional Instagram video where Lons said she’s taking her recovery “one day at a time.”
“Every time my mom relapse, it breaks my heart more than it’s already been broken,” Cole captioned the video. “I’m hoping, if any of u are dealing with a family member who’s battling with drug addiction, that you, yourself are learning how to cope with the struggle of it all. And all the pain it brings to see a loved one constantly relapsing. See them go back to the streets Because that’s what they’re used to, or would rather be. I really miss you!”
In July 2020, Pugh celebrated her mother’s 61st birthday on Instagram by describing her as a “fun, funny, loving, exciting, crazy sexy cool (expletive) down to earth and straight to the point an all around mother like no other!”