renda Edwards broke down as she revealed her final moments with her son Jamal before he died and voiced her anger at how news of his death broke via social media rather than direct from his family.
The 54-year-old’s world was turned upside down last February when Jamal, who gained fame from setting up new music platform SB.TV which helped to launch the careers of the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, passed away aged just 31 from a cardiac arrest on February 20, 2022.
Now, speaking to MTV show Faces, hosted by Ashley Cain – whose daughter Azaylia died at eight months old in 2021 – the X Factor finalist-turned-Loose Women star has shared for the first time that she was with him when he slipped away.
Edwards – who also has a daughter called Tanisha and wasn’t also present – said: “I was with Jamal when he passed, me and his sister and I can say he was so peaceful but it was a gut-wrenching moment for me.”
She then went on to speak of her anguish at the way in which his death had become public knowledge before she was ready, admitting it made her “very angry” and she doesn’t think she will ever come to terms with the “disrespect”.
She continued: “The one thing I didn’t like was the announcement of him passing was taken away from me. I think people should have just had that respect for him and for me.
“That’s nobody else’s business, when I want to say whatever I want to say, then I should be able and I have the right to be announcing that. But that was taken out of my hands.
“I was angry, very angry. It’s a shame because it took away from that moment of my grief to “who did that?”’ It wasn’t even 24 hours. This was on the same night, it’s like 5-6 hours afterwards.
“I can’t process this because social media is going crazy. That was a bit of disrespect I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with.”
Sheeran recently released number 1 hit single Eyes Closed which was penned in memory of Jamal, who he said had been like a “brother” to him.
Asked how Brenda was dealing with her own grief one year on from Jamal’s death, she replied: “I can’t believe it’s been a year, as much as I’m pinching myself, I still feel what I felt almost a year ago.
“I don’t know if it’s because I was with him when he passed that I just have those thoughts and those visions and so, maybe I’m keeping myself busy and keeping my mind doing other things, so it’s not thinking about those thoughts.”
The singer, who is set to star in a West End revival of Queen musical We Will Rock You this summer, also said she has had to ask those closest to her to stop asking her how she is doing.
She explained: “I’m just very grateful that I have a very great support network around me and they’re there and I’ve kind of said don’t ask me how I am because that makes you go to a certain place but just know, if I need you then I know you’re there.
“’How are you today?’ How do you think I am? I don’t want to offend people by saying ‘well how do you think I feel?’ It’s like going into a singing competition and you lose and they say ‘how does that make you feel?’ I’m gutted, of course I’m gutted, I wanted to win!
“But I don’t want to be always saying how I feel because I’ve got to deal with and process it in my own way, a lot of my friends just understand.”
She also went on to praise her daughter, saying: “I have to stay strong for her, she has to stay strong for me, we’re staying strong for each other.”
FACES hosted by Ashley Cain goes live on Thursdays weekly on YouTube. This week’s episode features Brenda Edwards.