Alaskan Bush People’s Billy Brown has died. According to one of his sons, Bear Brown, the hit reality television series’ patriarch passed away Sunday evening. He suffered from a sudden seizure, which ultimately led to his death.
The news leaves the fans wondering what will happen to the Alaskan Bush People now, and the star attraction dies. Discovering on whether the show will continue. A spokesperson notes that he is an essential part of the Discovery family for years.
Come with us as we explore the repercussions of this devastating news. Will the family continue with their popular reality TV show, Alaskan Bush People, in his absence? We’ll also look back at some of Billy Brown’s most memorable on-screen moments.
“We Are Heartbroken,” Billy Brown’s Family Say
Understandably, Billy Brown’s family is distraught. One of his sons, Bear Brown, releases a heartfelt statement on his Instagram detailing the death. It posts alongside a loving photo of his parents, Billy and Ami Brown. “He was our best friend,” he wrote. “A wonderful and loving dad, granddad, and husband, and he will be dearly missed.”
The 33-year-old reminisces about how his father lives life on his terms. He explains how he teaches his family to live off-grid and off the land. The family plan to honor Billy Brown’s legacy by continuing his dream of a wild, independent lifestyle and perhaps continuing the show. He finished his message by saying, “We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time. God bless, everyone.”
In their statement to the press, Discovery Channel said that Billy Brown was “a trailblazer, a lovely man, and most definitely one-of-a-kind.” The media company spokesperson wrapped up their heartfelt address by saying: “Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss.”
Billy Brown is survived by his wife, Ami Brown, his seven children, and three grandchildren.
What is the Alaskan Bush People About Anyway?
Alaskan Bush People is a popular reality TV show produced by Discovery Channel. It has reigned supreme for twelve seasons, gathering dedicated fans from all walks of life who are fascinated with the Brown family’s harsh mountain wilderness existence.
Married couple Billy and Ami Brown head the family, followed by their seven adult children: Matt, Bam Bam, Bear, Gabe, Noah, Bird, and Rain. That’s five sons and two daughters! And now, there are three grandchildren to add to the clan.
Billy Brown Was Plagued By Health Problems Before His Death
Before his death, Billy Brown was diagnosed with several illnesses. He had been in and out of the hospital.
When the Brown family lived on a mountain in Washington State, he was diagnosed with a heart problem that made it difficult for him to breathe. Doctors told Billy to avoid high altitudes, but he ignored the advice and continued living his mountain lifestyle.
The patriarch also had surgery in 2019 to try to correct the problem. According to his son, Bear Brown, he needed to undergo more testing to confirm a diagnosis.
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Billy Brown’s Family Is No Stranger to Heartbreak
Billy’s health problems weren’t the first brush with death for this wilderness-hardened family.
Ami Brown, Billy’s wife and the family’s treasured matriarch, was diagnosed with lung cancer at 57. Despite their dedication to their wild mountain life, the family was forced to move to California so that Ami could undergo treatment at the UCLA Medical Center.
Before getting her shock diagnosis in 2017, Ami told People magazine, she had experienced months of crippling pain in her back. She would get out of breath merely walking from her home to her garden. Other days, Ami was bedridden. Sometimes, when filming for Alaskan Bush People, she would struggle to stand up straight. But she brushed the signs off, thinking they were symptoms of arthritis. It wasn’t until Ami went to the dentist to get impressions made for false teeth that the doctor noticed some irregularities in her scans.
Ami had to undergo months of painful radiation and chemotherapy while spending her recovery time at the family’s newly purchased 435-acre property in the North Cascade Mountains. At the time, doctors gave Ami a 3 percent chance of survival.
Thankfully, the mother of seven was declared cancer-free in 2018. By drawing on the strength of her wild roots, she fought back from her illness and is now in remission. “The doctors were as shocked as we were,” her husband, Billy, said at the time.
Billy Brown and His Family Are Richer Than They Look
Did you know that Billy Brown wasn’t born in Alaska? According to the man himself, Brown was born into a wealthy family in Texas. His father was the president of a successful limo company. He was given new boats and cars for his birthdays. “I had it all–money, clothes, big-ticket toys, and a loving family,” Brown reminisces. In 1969, when Billy was only 16-years-old, his parents died in a tragic plane crash. Brown was left to fend for himself, working odd jobs in New Mexico and his home state of Texas to survive.
When Brown was 26, he met the love of his life, the now widowed Ami Brown. The teen bride was just 15 years old when the young couple tied the knot in 1979.
Despite the Browns’ difficult teen and newlywed years, there are hints that the self-described simple bush folk aren’t struggling financially today. Despite Billy and Bam Brown being fined tens of thousands of dollars and sent to jail for lying on Permanent Fund dividend applications, the family headed to expensive holiday destination Hawaii not long after. Not to mention the fact that, like all reality television families, Discovery Channel rewards the Browns handsomely for living their life, and the dramas that go with it, on camera.
There are claims that the family has a collective net worth of as much as $60 million!
The Brown Family Fought Back Against Fraud Charge
Let’s dig deeper into that fraud charge. While the Brown family works hard to project a life of modesty and God-fearing integrity, the scandal that hit them in 2016 nearly shattered this wholesome image.
Way back in 2014, Billy Brown, his wife Ami, and four of their seven children were charged with a whopping 60 counts of document falsification and theft. They weren’t stealing property. Instead, the family lied on their Permanent Dividend Fund applications between 2010 and 2013. This allowed them to keep thousands of dollars that they should have paid to the state.
Billy and his son, Bam (Joshua) Brown, stepped up and took the fall for the family. Because they pleaded guilty, the judge dropped the charges against everyone else. The pair were sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $21,000 in reparations, though they reportedly never saw the inside of a prison cell. Instead, they got off light with electronic monitoring, possibly due to Billy’s medical conditions.
Billy Brown is All Heart When it Comes to His Family
While there were indeed moments of scandal and intrigue over the thirteen seasons (and we take a look at those in our video), Billy Brown was not afraid to show his sensitive side. From teaching Gabe to drive to bringing home a puppy for his youngest daughter, Rain, Billy was all heart when helping his family.
In one episode of Alaskan Bush People, Billy looks through old family photos with friends from Texas. In what was a very emotional moment, he reminisces about his life before his parents’ death, saying his mother and father were “great friends.”
And in 2017, when son Noah told the family he was thinking about leaving the bush behind, Billy jumped in to offer him words of encouragement. He urged his son to find his path, saying that’s what he had taught him to do his whole life. “You can’t feel bad about following your path in life,” he said wisely. “What you have here will always be here.”
Has Filming for Season 13 of Alaskan Bush Already Started?
In the wake of the Alaskan Bush People star Billy Brown’s death, fans might be left wondering what’s next for the popular reality television show?
Season 12 wrapped up in October 2020 with the family touring their Washington estate, looking for fire damage. While Discovery Channel is yet to announce any details of a 13th season, those following Billy’s son, Bear Brown, on Instagram will have noticed some tantalizing tidbits.
According to Bear, Season 13 has already been filmed and will feature his wedding to fiance Raiven Adams. The couple already has a young son together. Since Season 13 was filmed before the tragic death of Billy Brown, speculation abounds as to whether the season will include him. In the absence of an announcement from Discovery, fans will just have to wait and see.
Do you want to see Discovery Channel air the 13th season of Alaskan Wild People? Or do you think that would be in poor taste following Billy Brown’s death? Drop us a comment down below with your thoughts. If you learned something new about the wild and wooly Brown family in this video, don’t be shy to give it a thumbs up. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Facts Verse channel for more shocking celebrity reveals.