While expressing sadness over the death of his friend Michael K. Williams, Senegalese-American musician Akon stressed why it’s important for celebrities to open up about their personal struggles and seek help when need be in an interview with TMZ.
Williams, 54, was found dead in his New York apartment on Monday. The actor died of a suspected drug overdose, New York Post reported. Williams was famous for his role in the pioneering HBO series “The Wire” and played the character Omar Little.
“He was actually a really good friend, amazing person, super funny, super talented,” Akon said about the deceased actor. “It’s definitely a sad day for everybody.”
Reflecting on the alleged circumstances surrounding his unexpected death, the Locked Up singer said such cases were becoming one too many, and it highlights the failure of celebrities who may be going through personal struggles to open up about it to their peers or those close to them.
“There’s just too many of us going down like that and I think when moments like this happen we all gotta reflect, cause we’re all going through things in our lives … and making decisions that actually affect not only us and our life but everyone that surrounds and looks up to us,” the 48-year-old said.
“The famous and the rich go through more issues than the poor. You know when they say ‘More money, more problems,’ that’s a real thing.”
Prior to his death, Williams had opened up about his struggles with drug addiction. But Akon said celebrities going through such issues usually find it difficult to speak up about it because of the nature of the industry.
“You know, this business creates this, like, environment where everyone’s wearing a mask, no one tells you what’s really going on in your life, so real friends can’t even really advise you cause we don’t really know what’s happening cause we put on this facade of success but yet behind the face there’s so much happening,” Akon added.
Despite that, the musician said it’s prudent for them to look out for each other. “So we gotta check up on each other, man, make sure everybody’s sound, you know, state of mind is intact, family’s good, and figure it out,” he continued. “Just reach out and check on each other, man, ‘cause we never really know what we’re going through.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Akon said he’s “not afraid to ask for help” when he’s facing problems. “I face my problems head on. Whatever challenges I have, I face it, because if you don’t face it it’s gonna haunt you, and when it haunts you long enough, before you know it, you go crazy,” he said.
“I would advise anyone who’s on any kind drugs of that nature: Man, just let it go, there’s other ways to cope with issues and challenges in your life besides drugs and alcohol.”