Former 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard paid tribute to his brother on his own birthday

Ruben Studdard, the winner of the second season of “American Idol,” recently took to Instagram to share a touching tribute for his late brother. Fans found heartwarming that, even though it was Ruben’s birthday, he made it, so his brother was remembered instead.

The R&B singer that has been compared to Luther Vandross first jumped to fame on the reality singing competition, “American Idol.” As fans became familiar with Ruben through the auditions, judge houses and live shows, they also got to meet Kevin Studdard, Ruben’s oldest brother, and number one fan.

Sadly, Studdard announced the death of his brother earlier this year with a post that said:

“I thank God for giving me the Best Big Brother ever!!! He has always had my back and looked out for me. He always told me what I needed to hear even when I didn’t want to listen. I love you my kind sweet brother, and I will miss you everyday. #RIH I Love you so much @studslife.”

Even though Ruben doesn’t post much on social media,  the last pics he has shared feature his big brother, as the 40-year-old seems to be struggling a lot with grief. Even on his birthday on September 12, Ruben made the day about his brother.

He posted a pic posing next to Kevin in what seems like a nightclub, as both men looked stylish in dark jeans and black t-shirts with matching gold accessories.

“You always knew how to make my birthday special big bro. So on my birthday, I salute you for being the best big brother anyone could ever ask for. I love you and miss you @studslife,” Ruben captioned the pic.

A month after Kevin’s passing, Ruben shared a throwback photo from his time in high school, showing off his football jersey with the number 72 as his brother did the same with his. And he wrote:

“This picture makes me smile because I remember how proud I was as freshmen in high school to wear my big brother's Number. So that the 72 tradition would continue another 4 years. I love you, big bro. You were my hero then, and you still are now!! RIPKevinStuddard @studslife”

Despite his loss, Ruben continues to smile through his pain. And one of the reasons he has to move forward is his gorgeous mother, Emily, a teacher and the first person to encourage her talented son to pursue his dreams.

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