Nick Cannon announced Tuesday that his 5-month-old son Zen died of a brain tumor over the weekend.
The 41-year-old TV host made the tragic announcement on his show, “Nick Cannon.”
Zen was Cannon’s seventh and youngest child; Alyssa Scott delivered him in June.
“Over the weekend, I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that is pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor — brain cancer,” Cannon said. Hydrocephalus is characterized by an abnormal increase in the amount of fluid on the brain.
Cannon broke down in tears as he explained his son’s medical condition.
“I always noticed he had a cough and so I wanted to check it out,” he said.
“He had this real interesting breathing, and by the time he was 2 months old I noticed … he had this nice-sized head, too. I called it a Cannon head,” he said. “We didn’t think anything about it. But I wanted to take him to the doctor for his sinus and breathing. We thought it would be routine.”
Cannon said he found out the fluid building up on Zen’s brain caused it to expand. Doctors discovered the malignant tumor, and Zen underwent surgery to drain the fluid.
Zen’s condition worsened around Thanksgiving.
“The process sped up. Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain. The tumor began to grow a lot faster,” Cannon said.
“This weekend, I made an effort to spend the most quality time with Zen. We woke up on Sunday … and went to the ocean with him,” Cannon said.
Cannon was overcome with emotion as he described holding Zen for the last time.
“I was preparing my day as it normally went. I didn’t know what it was going to be. But even by the time I got in the car headed for the airport, I had to turn around,” to be with Zen, Cannon said.
“I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset, too,” he said.
“You can’t heal until you feel,” he told his viewers, adding that “this is a special show dedicated to my beautiful son.”
The actor said he’ll take time off to grieve.
Cannon shares 10-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe Cannon, with singer Mariah Carey; son Golden, 4, and daughter Powerful Queen Cannon, 11 months, with Brittany Bell; and 5-month-old twins, Zion Mixolydian Cannon and Zillion Heir Cannon, with Abby De La Rosa.
CORRECTION (Dec. 7, 2021, 6:03 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the title of Nick Cannon’s talk show. It is called “Nick Cannon,” not “The Nick Cannon Show,” which aired in the early 2000s.