Renowned R&B singer August Alsina has triumphed over numerous life challenges, including encounters with poverty, drugs, illness, and the profound loss of cherished family members. Particularly poignant in his narrative is the tragic fate that befell his brothers, who succumbed to the devastating forces of gun violence and cancer. This article delves into the heart-wrenching tale of August Alsina’s siblings and examines the profound impact their experiences have had on his music and overarching perspective on life.

Melvin La’Branch III: The Brother Who Inspired Him to Sing

Born on September 3, 1992, in New Orleans, Louisiana, August Alsina grew up in a family of five, with three brothers—Melvin, Travis, and Jamal—and one sister named Netia. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, his mother relocated the family to Houston, Texas, as both his father and stepfather struggled with crack cocaine addiction. Unfortunately, his father passed away shortly after.

Inspired by Lauryn Hill in Sister Act 2, August Alsina began his musical journey by posting cover videos on YouTube at the age of 14 in 2007, showcasing renditions of songs by artists like Lyfe Jennings.

His older brother, Melvin La’Branch III, played a pivotal role in supporting August’s musical aspirations, acting as a mentor and guiding him through the challenges of life. Tragically, Melvin’s life was cut short by gun violence on August 31, 2010, in New Orleans, at the age of 24. Devastated by this loss, August Alsina channeled his grief into a deeper commitment to succeed in the music industry. In 2011, he relocated to Atlanta and released his inaugural mixtape, “The Product,” in 2012.

Several of August Alsina’s songs, including “Downtown,” “Benediction,” and “Song Cry,” are dedicated to his late brother. In remembrance, he has a tattoo of Melvin’s face on his chest. In an interview, August Alsina expressed, “He’s the reason why I do music. He’s the reason why I am who I am today.”

Chandra: The Sister Who Left Behind Three Daughters

August Alsina has two sisters, Netia and Chandra. Sadly, his sister Chandra battled cancer and passed away on Christmas night in 2018. Her untimely death left behind three daughters—Kayden, Amaiya, and Chaylen—who were already orphaned by their father, Mel, following his killing in 2015.

Devastated by the loss of his sister, August Alsina assumed the responsibility of raising her three daughters. In an Instagram post, he expressed profound grief, stating, “We lost such a beautiful soul on Christmas Night to the battle with cancer. I am utterly devastated and deeply shattered! Not only for myself but for my 3 little nieces, who are now robbed of BOTH parents. First, they killed Mel, now Cancer has stolen you. What is life? Why is life? Why is THIS life?”

He vowed to provide his nieces with a better life and honor his sister’s legacy, declaring, “I’ll be everything they need me to be and more. I’ll be sure to finish what you started. May you rest in perfect peace. I love you forever and ever.”

August Alsina has also paid homage to his sister in his music, particularly in his song “Today,” where he sings, “I know you’re watching over me / I feel you in the breeze / I know you’re proud of me / I’m everything you wanted me to be.”

The Impact of His Brothers on His Life and Music

August Alsina’s brothers have left an indelible mark on his life and music, serving as a profound source of inspiration. Their influence has propelled him to surmount adversity, pursue his passions, and become a positive role model for his nieces. Moreover, they’ve imparted the wisdom to cherish life’s moments and appreciate its inherent value.

In describing his musical journey, August Alsina emphasizes its authenticity, stating, “I make music from a real place. I make music from my soul. I make music from what I go through on a day-to-day basis.” He views his music not only as an artistic expression but as a means of healing and coping with personal pain, expressing, “Music is my therapy. It’s how I deal with everything. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I let go of things that I can’t control.”

Despite facing numerous challenges, August Alsina has achieved significant success in his career. With three studio albums—Testimony, This Thing Called Life, and The Product III: State of Emergency—he has collaborated with prominent artists like Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Chris Brown, and Jada Pinkett Smith. His accolades include winning the BET Award for Best New Artist in 2014 and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award in 2016.

August Alsina regards his brothers as motivation, inspiration, and guardian angels. He acknowledges their presence in his life, stating, “I know they’re watching over me. I know they’re proud of me. I know they’re with me every step of the way.”