Reality TV star Christopher “Big Black” Boykin has died at the age of 45.
The cause of death for Boykin, who starred in the MTV show “Rob and Big” from 2006 to 2008, has not been determined, but his friends have said that they believe he died from a heart attack, according to the Daily Mail.
Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, who was Boykin’s co-star on the show, posted a tribute to his friend on social media.
“My heart is broken,” Dyrdek wrote in a post on Instagram. “I don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to believe that this is reality. I am so thankful for you. We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure. I just can’t fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart.”
“Thank you for being an amazing human being and brother,” Dyrdek posted on Twitter.
Boykin, a U.S. Navy veteran, had a 9-year-old daughter, Isis.
“My heart is crushed hearing this news,” wrote Boykin’s co-star on “Fantasy Factory,” Chanel West Coast, according to USA Today. “I’ll never forget all the times you made me laugh. So many epic memories with you. You put smiles on a lot of people’s faces and you will be missed dearly by SO many. My prayers go out to your family and loved ones. Keep them laughing up in heaven.”
“Ridiculousness” co-host Sterling “Steelo” Brim also took to social media to honor Boykin’s life.
“My brain can’t truly comprehend this,” posted Brim. “As soon as we met we became friends. Genuine, Funny, Family Man, just an Overall Great guy. May God Rest his soul and he make everyone in heaven smile like he did on earth! LOVE!”
Others from New England Patriot Julian Edelman to rapper Juicy J also posted tributes to Boykin on social media.
“He was a great father. That was the best thing about him,” said Boykin’s ex-wife, Shannon Turley, according to ABC. “He worked his a** off. Nothing was handed to him.”
She added that Isis is “having a hard time dealing” with her father’s death.
Turley said the Boykin had long suffered from congenital heart failure, and “had a defibrillator in his chest for over 10 years.” Before his death, she added, he had been hospitalized for his condition.
The couple had stayed close even after their divorce, and Boykin lived with Turley and Isis before his death.
Turley said that she and Isis rushed to the hospital when staff contacted them about Boykin’s condition.
“We were about 20 minutes away, and right when we got there, it was too late,” she said. “It was tough. We were right there.”
Sources: Daily Mail, ABC News, USA Today / Photo credit: The Conmunity/Flickr