Former Rob & Big star Christopher “Big Black” Boykin passed away suddenly at the age of 45 on Tuesday, May 9. This tragic loss has got fans thinking about Big Black’s career and everything he accomplished.
So, who is Christopher Boykin?
He co-starred alongside Rob Dyrdek on Rob & Big
From 2006 until 2008 the comedic reality show aired on MTV.
Big’s skateboarding co-star took to Instagram to share an emotional tribute to his friend. In a snap that captured their fun and light-hearted time together, Rob and Big are seen swinging in a giant red swing with their feet up in the air.
View this post on Instagram
My heart is broken. I don't want to write this post. I don't want to believe that this is reality. I am so thankful for you. We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure. I just can't fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart.
“My heart is broken. I don’t want to write this post,” he captioned the post. “I don’t want to believe that this is reality. I am so thankful for you. We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure. I just can’t fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart.”
Friction between the duo ultimately ended the show
Though Rob is clearly saddened over his friend’s death, their relationship was not always smooth and that led to the abrupt cancellation of their show.
“It was a strange period,” Rob said in 2016 regarding the tumultuous time leading up to the show’s end. “I had been a pro skateboarder for years, so me transitioning to mainstream fame was relatively smooth, right, where for [Big], the idea that man he was like working security two years earlier and now he’s on television, it was a much different dynamic. But I think we both struggled with I didn’t want to be known as like Rob from Rob & Big … and I think he didn’t want to be known for like the sidekick. So that created a lot of that tension between me and him.”
He lived up to his nickname
Weighing in at 375 pounds and towering at a staggering 6’6’’, it’s no wonder Christopher was known as “Big” to the public. His stature helped a lot with his career too, as it was his role as Rob’s bodyguard that got him media attention.
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He served in the US Navy
Not much is known about the TV star’s time in the navy, though it’s been reported by multiple outlets that the late celebrity was a serviceman before he entered the entertainment world.
He has a daughter named Isis
The 9-year-old girl is from Big’s relationship with ex-wife Shannon whom he wed in 2008. She is his only child and he and Shannon welcomed her back in 2008.
The little girl made her television debut when she was just an infant on an episode of Rob & Big.
Ex-wife Shannon confirmed Big’s death on Twitter
Shannon Boykin took to her ex-husband’s Twitter early on Wednesday morning to confirm the heartbreaking news with fans.
This is Shannon, Big Black's ex-wife, I'm heartbroken to tell you of Black's passing. He's everything to me and Isis and we will miss him 💔😢
— Big Black (@BigBlack) May 10, 2017
“This is Shannon, Big Black’s ex-wife, I’m heartbroken to tell you of Black’s passing,” she wrote. “He’s everything to me and Isis and we will miss him.”
She received tremendous support from his followers and a hashtag #RIPBig even started.
It’s clear that Christopher’s legacy will live on and his loss will be felt. A statement from MTV captures the current feelings of his sudden death.
“MTV is deeply saddened to learn the news of Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin’s passing,” they said. “He was a longtime and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time.”
Our thoughts remain with Big’s friends, family, and fans during this difficult time.