Photographer Mike Mora, the husband of singer Kelis, died this week at age 37 following a battle with Stage 4 stomach cancer.
“Sadly, it’s true that Mike Mora has passed away,” the “Milkshake” singer’s manager told Entertainment Tonight in a statement. “We would ask all to respect Kelis and her family’s privacy as of right now. Thank you.”
Mora was diagnosed with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma in Sept. 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He opened up about his diagnosis in a series of Instagram posts in September 2021, heartbreakingly writing that he had been given 18 months to live and that it had been 12 months so far.
“I am posting this after so much thought,” Mora shared. “Many hours thinking of what the right thing to do is. Not because of a selfish reason .not because I want people to feel bad or sorry for me and my family. I am posting this because life is full of the most unexpected situations. I never thought this could happen to me. At just 36, with three kiddos, and a wife that loves me. I want to be able to help those that might be experiencing something like this — a life-altering disease full of questions and doubt — maybe, hopefully. By showing that it’s possible to make it through.”
In the wake of Mora’s passing, his friend, photographer Brian Bowen Smith, penned a tribute on Instagram.
“Saddened to hear the news about our dear friend Mike passing away last night,” Smith wrote. “Working with you was such a pleasure. I loved all of your questions and your passion for your family and photography. Reminds me of me. Sending love to his wife and family. Mike had been sick for a minute but he loved being on set. Today we will be thinking of you at every frame. Great example of why you need to live every day to the fullest. And be great full for every day your here. Love you MM.”
Mora and Kelis had been married since 2014, and he was her second husband following a five-year marriage to rapper Nas from 2005 to 2010. The couple had two children, a son born in 2015 and a daughter born in 2020, the same month as Mora’s diagnosis, in addition to a son from her previous marriage. In Jan. 2020, the couple moved to a remote farm two and a half hours outside of Los Angeles to escape the entertainment industry.