Bobby Brown Jr. died suddenly on Nov. 18 at age 28

By Elissa Rosen
November 25, 2020 04:55 PM
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One week after his untimely death, friends and family are remembering Bobby Brown Jr. as someone who could "put a smile on everyone's face."

Bobby Jr., the 28-year-old son of singer Bobby Brown, died on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at his home in Los Angeles, with a cause of death not immediately clear. "Please keep my family in your prayers at this time," his father, 51, said in a statement. "Losing my son at this point in our lives has devastated my family. There are no words to explain the pain."

James Worthy, longtime friend and producer of the late artist, tells PEOPLE that he spoke with Bobby Jr. just days before his death. "He hit me up the other day about music. He was on a roll with this album," says Worthy, 28, who has been a friend of the family for over 12 years. "He was all about his music right now."

"We inspired each other. We helped each other grow musically. He was someone I loved and held dear to me," he adds. "I can't believe he is gone."

Bobby Brown, Bobby Brown Jr. and James Worthy
| Credit: Courtesy James Worthy

Close friend Kasey shared a tribute to him on Twitter, posting their final text exchanges. "I love doing Friendsgiving," Bobby Jr. wrote in one message.

Kasey describes him as "a great guy with an incredible soul. His energy was different from anybody else in a room. He was so down-to-earth, so sweet, so caring. He would give you the confidence to believe in yourself. He dreamed so big, whether it be for himself or his close friends."

"He will forever live on in my heart and mind," Kasey says.

Fellow artist Cydnee with a C tells PEOPLE she wants the world to remember Bobby Jr. for his music. "He loved me like a little sister. His pen game was terrific and he performed like the star he was," she says, adding that he was “a fantastic cook — he always cooked with love.”

Family was also very important to him. "He was so close to his dad and all his siblings. ... The gang will never forget him," says Cydnee.

One of the closest people to Bobby Jr. was his older sister La'Princia, according to her fiancé Eddie Ray. "They were very close," he tells PEOPLE. Ray, who has been with La'Princia for nine years, is also devastated over the loss.

"My brother could walk — better yet moon-walk —into any room and put a smile on everyone's face. He had that much of a good vibe," Ray says. "He loved everyone, and everyone loved him. He was about to lead a new charge in music with two new songs that were slated to drop soon. B could go boom-bap rappy, or could hit you with country. Just so diverse. The way his mind worked is extraordinary — Einstein-level genius."

"When La'Princia and I started dating in 2011, I would wake up at 6 a.m. to the bed shaking and it was the bass coming out of his bedroom next door. That was followed by him harmonizing what ended up being his song 'In Her City,' which is a smash. Princie would bang on the wall to stop, and he would just sing louder."

Ray says he'll never forget the impact Bobby Jr. had on his life: "He taught me a lot about life in the past decade. Bob is one-of-a-kind. His legacy and the mark he left on this earth will never fade. He is a king."

As for how the family is holding up, Ray says "family time is key right now" and they are "taking it day by day." On Instagram, he posted a collage of photos of himself with Bobby Jr., which he captioned, "I love you Bob. & Your 1,000 Hairstyles."

Bobby Jr.'s death comes more than five years after the death of his half-sister, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in 2015. She died tragically when she suffered irreversible brain damage and spent six months in a coma after she was found unconscious in a bathtub at her home in Roswell, Georgia.

Bobbi Kristina was buried in New Jersey next to her late mother, Whitney Houston, who died in February 2012 at the age of 48.

Worthy says he wants to release some of their old and new music as a tribute, but adds that he is simply trying to heal for now. "It's so hard," he says, "to think the world won't get to see what potential he had. He was a talented artist gone way too soon."