What was B Smyth’s cause of death? Disease explained

Bruno Cooke November 18, 2022
What was B Smyth’s cause of death? Disease explained


R&B singer B Smyth (real name: Brandon Smith) has died at the age of 28, sparking questions about his cause of death.

His older brother Denzil Smith confirmed the news in a video. The video later appeared on Smyth’s official Instagram page. 

“I’m making this video today because I have some sad, sad news,” Denzil says in the video. “My brother has passed away this morning,” he wrote in the caption.

Here’s what we know about B Smyth’s cause of death, how deadly it is in the US, and a brief rundown of its symptoms and possible causes. 

Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage

What was B Smyth’s cause of death?

Smyth’s brother wrote in the caption to his announcement video that Brandon died from “respiratory failure.”

He had suffered from a “long battle with pulmonary fibrosis,” he added. 

It’s a lung condition, Denzil says in the video. And, while he didn’t reveal much detail about what caused it in his brother’s case, he mentioned the “past few months” as a time period during which it was particularly tough for him.

While he was in the ICU, Denzil also wrote, B Smyth was “excited to see” his fans create challenges for his latest single Twerkaholic Part 2. It “really brought a big smile to his face.”

What causes the disease that led to B Smyth’s death at such a young age?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease the occurs when the tissue of the lung becomes damaged and scarred, according to Mayo Clinic

Scar tissue is thicker and more stiff than regular lung tissue, so its presence makes it more difficult for the organ to function properly.

As it gets worse, it can cause shortness of breath, a dry cough, fatigue, weight loss, aching muscles and joints, and a widening of the round tips of the fingers.

Many different things can cause pulmonary fibrosis. These include longterm exposure to toxins and pollutants (silica dust, asbestos fibres, coal dust, metal dusts and so on); radiation treatments, such as for lung or breast cancer; certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs; and medical conditions such as pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and polymyositis. 

Do we know what caused the pulmonary fibrosis in Brandon Smith’s case?

No, but his brother Denzil refers to B Smyth’s battle with pulmonary fibrosis as “long.”

The singer was only 28 years old when he died, which is young even for a first diagnosis of the disease. It is much more common among middle-aged and older adults than children and teenagers.

Genetic factors can play a role in causing some types of pulmonary fibrosis, Mayo Clinic adds. And idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis more likely to affect men than women. 

But as regards what specifically brought about the pulmonary fibrosis that caused B Smyth’s death at such a young age, fans may have to await further information from the family.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis kills about 40,000 Americans per year.

Rebel | UK Trailer

Rebel | UK Trailer

His fans ‘smoothed’ the process

B Smyth’s brother Denzil says in his announcement video that, in the months that led up to Brandon’s death, he regularly talked about “how much he loved his fans and how much his fans loved him.”

“He would always want to do his best to put out the best content for you guys, [and] he wanted me to make this video to let you guys know that the appreciated everything that you guys did for him,” Denzil says. 

“He was able to have a smoother process with all the love and light you guys were showing him,” he adds. 

And, on the subject of funeral arrangements, Denzil Smith said the family was considering doing a live stream for fans that aren’t able to attend the funeral in person. 

“So you guys can have a visual and pay your last respects and condolences to him.”

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.