Rihanna and her fans (the Rihanna Navy) are mourning the death of one of their own this week. Fourteen-year-old James Sobral Valencia aka Thiago was stabbed to death by his drunk stepfather in Brazil on Feb. 1. His 9-year-old brother and mother were also killed. Thiago claimed to be one of Rihanna’s biggest fans, despite never seeing her in concert. His family said he was saving his money and hoping to see her later this year.
When Rihanna heard of the horrific tragedy, she reached out to the family and graciously offered to pay the funeral expenses.
She was working with Brazil authorities to get in touch with Thiago’s biological father and lend support to the family but the father rejected her offer to cover the family’s expenses. Instead, he wanted Rihanna to only cover Thiago’s funeral and honor him that way.
Rihanna showed her support on Instagram, posting a message from Thiago’s father and a picture of the family.