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Beloved Artist and Musician Brianna Lee Pruett Walks On at 32 (1983-2015)

Beloved Artist and Musician Brianna Lee Pruett Walks On at 32 (1983-2015)

Vincent Schilling

“She was a brilliant brilliant woman, soul, creative force. I feel her shining on me like the sun every day since she passed, like I so often did throughout her mortal life. Brianna’s sister, Keely Dorran

Editor’s Note: It is with great sadness I write these words about Brianna as she was a friend of both me and my wife, and we had talked to her on many occasions regarding her artwork, her music and her desires to help those who were suffering in Indian Country. We would have liked to publish this news earlier, but Brianna’s sister asked us to include words from her eulogy which she has now sent to us.

My heart is heavy with the grief that a young woman, so filled with kindness and light decided to take the step to transition into the next world. Before she passed, award-winning Musician Michael Bucher, who is also the chairman of the ‘You Are Not Alone Network’ a nonprofit dedicated to helping our youth choose alternatives to suicide, told me Brianna had recently contacted him about donating artwork to ‘YANAN’ to help in the cause.

Brianna Lee Pruett, (Cherokee/Choctaw/Chickasaw) a talented singer, songwriter, filmmaker, poet and visual artist passed away on September 2, 2015. Signed to Canyon Records in 2013, Pruett’s first album “Gypsy Bells’ received a plethora of positive reviews from fans and publications such as Bullet Magazine and Paste Magazine.

On September 12, 2015 Brianna’s sister Keely was asked to write her sister’s eulogy. Here is a segment that reflects the light Brianna brought to this world:

My mother forbade me to speak of the time Brianna and I wore false mustaches to a theater in Berkeley as a joke and to see who would notice. She also forbade me to discuss anything about the comedy sketch Bri and I wrote while eating lunch at American River College, where we were taking classes together in music production and voice some years ago. I am not allowed to tell you that we concocted a series of sketches wherein a man is continually harassed whenever he uses the restroom by strangers in the stall next to him who confess their sins to him as though he were a priest, despite his insistence that he is just an ordinary guy trying to do his business.

I don’t mind leaving these stories out.

My beloved sister Brianna Lea Pruett was born on January 18th in 1983 to Del and Karen Pruett (now Karen Day). Our older sister, Dania, was 14 and I was 10 1/2 to the day. Our family adventure began with great anticipation, curiosity about this new-to-us old soul, and tender love. After a long, painful, arduous labor and breech delivery, Brianna breathed and opened her eyes. When our father held her, she looked into his eyes, and grasped his index finger with sheer Capricorn determination as if to say, “I’m here, I made it through. I’m home.” When my parents observed her spirit of strength and endurance, they named her Brianna, meaning “strong one.”

Every human being endures suffering during their mortal lifetime. Not one of us escapes it, regardless of how great our lives may appear to others. Brianna was no different in that regard, but she had a talent for creating beauty, love, and peace for everyone around her in the midst of this challenging world. For those of us blessed by her love and presence in our lives, her soul was an oasis of joy, creative inspiration, insight and profundity in the desert of an often difficult life.

Soon after her passing, Stephen Butler at Canyon Records released a statement on the Canyon Records website:

It was with great sadness that we learned that our dear friend and beloved Canyon Records artist Brianna Lea Pruett passed away unexpectedly on September 2, 2015. In the words of Brianna's sister Keely Dorran, "...Brianna Lea Pruett, (a) brilliant and finally overwhelmed sweet girl of 32, who took her own life in her hands, fell asleep to death and woke up to the new life."

Brianna was a deeply gifted singer, songwriter, poet, filmmaker and visual artist. Her creativity knew no bounds. It flowed through her like a river, never ceasing. Brianna always endeavored to perfectly express her own artistic spirit but her art always had an element of being an offering to others. Her kind and gentle heart was always infused into her art. As a loving human being, Brianna brought joy to all she came into contact with.

As a human being, as an artist and as a singer-songwriter, Brianna had so much yet to give. She was well on her journey to connect with greater numbers of people through her songs, her paintings and all her artistic gifts. Though all of us at Canyon Records will deeply miss the joy and laughter of her physical presence, we will always be comforted by the times we had together and by the enduring body of work she left behind for the world to enjoy. Brianna's family deeply wishes that everybody focuses on the continued existence of her spirit and her artistry.

On Canyon’s website:

"Canyon Records' Director of Production Stephen Butler, co-producer of Gypsy Bells and We Come in All Colors, and a friend of Brianna's, spontaneously created a video to accompany "Heart Thoughts" after Brianna's passing.”


“One of the last pieces of art Brianna released to the public was a little book of poems called Heart Thoughts released through Poems-For-All created by Richard Hanson and distributed by”

Here are other tributes to Brianna online.

  • by Hillary Saunders at Paste Magazine

  • by Brianna's friend Fred Mills at Blurt Magazine

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