Country singer Eric Church and his younger brother Brandon Church have always been close. As CMT News reports, Brandon was there for every step of Eric’s rise to country music fame.

Brandon was one of the founding members of the band, Mountain Boys, which was started when Eric was in college. He also co-wrote some of Eric’s first hits, such as “How ‘Bout You” and “Without You Here.”

The Brandon Church Memorial Scholarship

Sadly, Eric’s reps confirmed on his official website that Brandon passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 29:

It is with great sadness to confirm that Eric’s brother, Brandon, passed away on Friday evening. In lieu of flowers we are encouraging everyone to donate to a Scholarship Memorial Fund created on Brandon’s behalf. You can leave a message that will go via email directly to Ken and Rita.

The Brandon Church Memorial Scholarship will be used to “bless others” by furthering their education. So far, the fundraiser has raised over $15,000.

The family expressed their gratitude for all the love and support their family has been shown since Brandon’s passing.

The Brandon Church Memorial Scholarship

According to TMZ, Brandon suffered from a number of seizures over the last few years. The 36-year-old reportedly suffered two seizures on the day of his death, one that occurred in his North Carolina home and a second while en route to the local hospital.

The second seizure, according to his father Ken, reportedly sent him into cardiac arrest. Ken, however, did not disclose the cause of Brandon’s seizures.

Brandon is survived by his parents, his brother and his family, a sister and her family, and a daughter whose age is unknown. Eric has not yet commented personally on his brother’s death.

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