Singer Eric Church‘s brother, Brandon, died last week. He was 36. The news about his death was confirmed on the country music star’s fan club page. “It is with great sadness to confirm that Eric’s brother, Brandon, passed away on Friday evening,” the statement read. “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 [his parents] Ken and Rita.”

Eric Church's brother passed away last week  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Eric Church's brother passed away last week  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

As of now, around $20,000 has been raised in Brandon’s honor to the Brandon E. Church Memorial Scholarship Fund. “This loving memorial is set up to honor Brandon E. Church, beloved son, brother, father, and friend. In lieu of flowers, please pay forward a gift that will keep on giving to others through furthering their education,” the fund’s site says. “The Brandon E. Church Memorial Scholarship Fund will be used to bless others and honor a benevolent life. Thank you for showing your love and support to the Church family.” Speaking to TMZ, Brandon's father, Kenneth said that he suffered “multiple seizures” before his death at his home in Granite Falls, North Carolina on Friday (June 29). 

Brandon was immediately rushed to the hospital. However, while being transported to the hospital, he suffered another seizure which is expected to be the cause that sent Brandon into a cardiac arrest. Kenneth added that Brandon had been experiencing seizures in recent years. According to Granite Falls Police Department Chief Chris Jenkins, the cause of the death is natural and no foul play is suspected. 

There have been a handful of songs that Brandon has helped his brother, Eric with. He co-wrote “How ‘Bout You” from Eric’s debut album Sinners Like Me in 2006 and “Without You Here” from his 2009 album Carolina. But their collaborations go further down the road, to the start of the Mountain Boys in the late ’90s. Talking to CMT, Eric shed light on how the Mountain Boys came about.  

“I went back and got my brother and two college roommates who happened to be musicians. And the next week we had a gig,” he said. Fans were quick to pour their thoughts and prayers for Eric. My sincere condolences to @ericchurch and all of Brandon’s loved ones!" one fan wrote. 

Another added, "My deepest condolences to Eric and his family. Love and prayers to all of them at this very difficult time." Despite the death of his brother, Eric gained the courage to go and perform his show in front of thousands of fans. "We often forget that famous people go through the same issues that we do. This is Eric Church singing Sinners Like Me the day after his brother died. The strength to perform in front of thousands of people after going through that is something I can’t imagine. RIP Brandon Church," wrote one fan.