Kevin Samuels, a YouTube star who became known for his controversial takes on relationships, has died, his mother confirmed Friday. He was 57.
Rumors of Samuels’ death began to circulate Thursday night across social media. The Atlanta Police Department told NPR he was found unresponsive on the floor of his apartment after complaining about chest pains. He was transported to Piedmont Hospital and pronounced dead.
Samuels’ mother, Beverly Samuels-Burch, released a statement to NBC News on Friday. She didn’t disclose details on his cause of death, but said she was upset that she learned about his passing from social media users.
“That was a terrible thing for social media to put that out. I didn’t even know. I hadn’t even been notified,” she said. “All I’m doing is requesting that people pray for us.”
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Samuels, a self-proclaimed relationship guru had 1.4 million subscribers on his YouTube page. He was known for dishing out opinions on relationships and dating, but often sparked anger for comments many perceived as attacks on Black women.
Samuels described himself as an “image consultant, life and style coach.” He was said to be twice divorced and believed to be single, but regularly offered hot takes on relationships.
Last month he touched off an intense debate on social media when he described unmarried women over 35 years old as “leftover women.”
“If you live to 35 and you’re not married, you’re a leftover. You’re leftover. Men know you may have a problem,” he said. “Whether you want to hear it or not, I’ll go with you. I’m telling you the truth you don’t want to hear.”
News of Samuels’ death got strong reactions on social media.
Linguistics professor and researcher Dr. Uju Anya tweeted: “Who knew all this time he was telling Black women we’ll die alone and unwanted, ran through and leftover, Kevin Samuels was talking about himself.”
Philadelphia magazine editor Ernest Owens wrote on Twitter: “Kevin Samuels has made a career off of shamelessly disgracing Black women for profit. He emboldened the most toxic individuals to project tired and harmful narratives about Black women. Dead or alive, what a disgraceful life to live. That’s all I’ve got for that misogynist.”
Chicago TV host Brandon Pope added on Twitter: “Kevin Samuels brand was rooted in demeaning others. Why would the targets of that vitriol be expected to have compassion for him? You write your own eulogy every day by how you treat people.”