Tamar Braxton Opens Up About Why There Wasn't A Funeral For Late Sister Traci Braxton

The larger-than-life personas of the Braxton family – to include Toni, Towanda, Trina, Tamar and Traci – are well-documented at this point. From their 90s R&B group to their later endeavors as solo artists, the sisters have long been staples in the music industry. Sadly, though, third-oldest Traci died on March 12 at age 50 after a year-long battle with esophageal cancer. Her younger sister, Tamar, has since opened up about why their side of the family didn’t hold a traditional funeral to mark her passing.

The infamous crew-turned-reality stars opted instead to host a kind of celebration of life memorial for Traci Braxton. It took place on April 2, on what would’ve been the singer’s 51st birthday, with the sisters and their mother wearing various shades of green in commemoration. Others in attendance, at what has been described as a private party, include NeNe Leakes (who also had a celebration of life for her husband Gregg in October) and Keke Wyatt (of R&B Divas: Atlanta fame). Speaking to Dish Nation on Thursday, Tamar Braxton made it clear that her late sister never wanted a somber affair, saying:

The celebration of life as you guys saw wasn’t actually a celebration of life. It was actually her heavenly birthday. My sister was very particular, and she didn’t want a funeral. She didn’t want anything where everyone was going to be sad.

She added that all the Braxtons now have a hummingbird locket that carries some of Traci’s ashes. The bird itself is an apparent reflection of the several hummingbird tattoos that were on the late songstress' back, which represented each of her sisters. Tamar revealed that her sister came up with the idea before her passing, saying that she “wanted to go everywhere” that her family went.

It’s a sweet way to commemorate the departed star. But nevertheless, some reports indicate that there might’ve been a funeral after all. Insiders for Page Six in fact claimed that Traci Braxton’s husband of 26 years, Kevin Surratt, had planned an official service and viewing against her wishes, and that he was considered to be “exploiting” her death. (Supposedly, Traci asked to be cremated immediately after her death.) Surratt denied the allegations to the outlet but did share that a viewing took place – without the other sisters in attendance.

In the years prior to her sister’s death, Tamar Braxton had been struggling herself. She discovered a serious health problem during her 2015 stint on Dancing With The Stars, which ultimately prompted her to leave the show. The former co-host on The Real (which has now been cancelled) then struggled with her mental health and a suicide attempt back in 2020. While on Dish Nation, she shared that they are all “hanging in there” as they continue to mourn Traci’s absence.

Along with her sisters, older brother Michael and her parents, Traci Braxton is survived by her husband, her son Kevin Jr. and her grandson Kevin III. We here at Cinemablend continue to offer our condolences to the family during this difficult time.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.