Nick Cannon’s infant son dies from brain cancer

Nick Cannon

Wild’ n Out and America’s Got Talent alum Nick Cannon shared some unfortunate personal news on his talk show The Nick Cannon Show.

The entertainer announced that his 5-month-old son Zen passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

“Over the weekend, I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that is pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor – brain cancer,” he said.

Zen Cannon was born in June to Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott. Zen was Nick Cannon’s seventh child.

“I always noticed he had a cough, and so I wanted to check it out. He had this interesting breathing, and by the time he was two months, I noticed he had this nice sized head too – a Cannon head. We didn’t think anything of it. But I wanted to take him to the doctor for his sinus and breathing. We thought it would be routine,” Cannon said.

Here’s the full segment.

Unfortunately, the checkup wasn’t routine at all. Young Zen was building up fluid in his brain and needed brain surgery and a shunt to drain the fluid.

“Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain, and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was…,” he said. “This weekend, I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen. We woke up on Sunday — I got to spend the weekend with him — and I woke up on Sunday and was like, ‘I feel like I want to go to the water.’ We got a chance to go to the ocean.”

Nick Cannon, in tears, said that this weekend was the last time he held his new son.

“I didn’t know how I was going to handle today, but I just wanted to grieve with my family,” he said.

As to why he’s returned to work so soon after the tragedy, Nick said working is “all he knows,” and the episode is a tribute, a “special show dedicated to my beautiful son, Zen.” 

According to Entertainment Tonight, “the crew and studio audience were all shocked by the devastating news.” They were caught “unaware of the tragic and extremely personal announcement Nick was going to make about the loss of his youngest child, Zen, during the live show this morning,” a source on the show said.

Cannon gave his thanks to health care workers at Children’s Hospital of Orange County for helping him and his family to deal with the loss.

Cannon said his whole family came together to share the loss. He has twins with Mariah Carey, twins with DJ Abby De La Rosa, and two kids with model Brittany Bell.

Cannon also said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to share the news publicly, but he would be living up to his motto, “You don’t just go through it, you grow through it.”