Spike Lee had a rough start to the new year with the death of his younger brother.
"Mr. Christopher Lee R.I.P December 23,1958-December 30,2013. Chris Is My Brother Born Right After Me," the famed director wrote on Instagram. "Not A Good Way To Start The New Year. May God Bless His Soul."
Christopher, whose cause of death at age 55 is unknown, was one of Lee's four younger siblings. Lee, 56, also has a half brother, Arnold Lee, from his father's second marriage.
Their father, musician Bill Lee, once referred to Christopher as an artist. Posting details of his memorial service along with a picture of his brother as a youth, Spike Lee wrote on Instagram, "All Chris' Friends In The Grafitti Community Are More Than Welcome To Attend."
Lee is the latest celebrity to experience the death of a sibling. Click through to see some other stars who have mourned the loss of a sibling.
|Waka Flocka Flame|
A day before Lee's tragic loss, rapper Waka Flocka Flame lost his brother, aspiring rapper Kayo Redd, in Atlanta. "God please bless me," the rapper, who was born Juaquin Malphurs, wrote on Twitter Dec. 29. Hours later, he added, "Ya Big Brother love you Kayo" posting a 15-second photo montage of Redd. Though the cause of Redd's death is still unknown, it's the second tragedy to hit Waka's family. Confirming the news, his mother Debra Antney, wrote on Twitter, "I just lost another son." Antney previously revealed that when Waka Flocka was 13, he lost a brother to a car accident. Nicki Minaj, who was once managed by Antney, posted a picture of Redd on her Instagram account, writing, "Devastated by the loss of this precious soul."
Olivia Newton-John lost her older sister, Rona Newton-John, to a brain tumor last May 24 at age 70. "She was surrounded by the love of her four children-Fiona, Brett, Tottie and Emerson and her wonderful friends," Newton-John wrote on her Facebook page. "I will miss her forever-my beautiful, smart, talented, funny, brave sister Rona." The 64-year-old actress, who battled cancer two decades ago, postponed a Las Vegas show to be with her sister in April. Rona, an actress herself, was married to Newton-John's "Grease" co-star Jeff Conaway from 1980 to 1985.
|Nick and Aaron Carter|
Last September, Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter opened up about the loss of his younger sister Leslie, who died at age 25 in January 2012 of a drug overdose. Carter, 33, told Dr. Phil that he ended up skipping his sister's funeral because his family blamed him in part for her death. "I felt it was unfair, especially with all the things I have done, and continue to do for them," Carter said. But, as the oldest of the five Carter kids, he admitted he felt somewhat at fault. He and two other siblings, including his bandmate Aaron, have all battled addiction, he told Dr. Phil. Losing his sister was a wakeup call, he said. "I felt like I had to do something and show them that I'm being a better person," he told Dr. Phil.
Also last year, country star Luke Bryan talked about two early family tragedies that had a profound influence on his career. Bryan told People that he was days away from moving to Nashville to pursue his dream when his older brother Chris was killed in a car accident in 1996. He stayed home instead and worked for the family business until he could no longer hide his unhappiness. With a nudge from his father, Bryan moved to Nashville in 2001 and quickly scored a record deal. But just as his debut album was released, his older sister Kelly and remaining sibling, died suddenly of unknown causes, leaving behind a young son. This time, Bryan kept going though he admitted his faith was tested. "I don't like that my sons are missing that side of my family," he told People. "But someone else is deciding things."