Ben Kweller, a singer-songwriter, is in mourning at the death of his 16-year-old son. The musician, 41, announced Tuesday that his son Dorian died on Monday night. Though he did not give details as to the circumstances surrounding Dorian’s death, his record label The Noise Company said the teen died “in a tragic event.”
“There’s no way that I can be typing this but I am…. Our son, Dorian Zev Kweller, was killed last night. He was only 16 and he was a true legend,” Kweller wrote on Instagram. “Kindest, gentle soul, a friend to all. If you knew him, you know. We’ll never get over him as long as we’re here on earth.”
who has toured with stars like Ed Sheeran and Death Cab for Cutie — said Dorian was an aspiring musician under the stage name Zev, and that he was scheduled to play his first show at SXSW in Austin in March. He encouraged his followers to keep his son’s “spirit alive with your memories and the music he made,” and linked to Dorian’s Instagram page.
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“Dorian Zev wrote and recorded songs every day. A true poet from the day he started speaking,” he wrote. “Only a few of his recordings were released but he was on a path and excited about his journey. He had so many plans!!! His first gig was in two weeks, at SXSW.”
The “Starz” singer said that the final text messages he exchanged with his son were about merch that Dorian wanted to create, and wrote that his “baby boy was at the starting line with so much life ahead of him.” Kweller is also dad to son Judah, 12, with wife Lizzy.
“I have no idea why things like this happen. We’re in complete shock and don’t know what the future holds,” he wrote. “Lizzy, Judah, and I have no idea how to deal with this disaster. Thank you for your prayers and support and we apologize if we are slow to respond to messages. “
The family received a flood of support in the comments of the post from musicians like Taylor Hanson, Michelle Branch and Pete Yorn, who all offered messages of condolences.
“Omg Ben no words. Heart breaks. Can’t even fathom this. Deepest condolences to you and your family,” Yorn wrote, while Branch added: “I’m so sorry. Heartbreaking.”
In an earlier Instagram post from August, Kweller lauded his son’s abilities and claimed that Dorian and Judah were “talented in a million ways and bring us joy in a million ways.”
“You can imagine that music has been a huge part of their upbringing – instruments everywhere, songs in the air – that’s the vibe over here at the Kweller home!” he wrote at the time. “Welp, for the past year, Dorian has been writing and recording songs in his bedroom under the artist name ZEV. It’s gotten to the point where I’m absolutely BLOWN AWAY by his output.”
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The singer said he and Dorian had started recording together in a barn a month ago, and he planned to co-produce the teen’s songs. “Just to hang out with my 16yr old in this way, to help him explore his creative soul is something that I’ll never take for granted. Ever,” Kweller wrote.
Dorian played the guitar and Judah played the drums as the family rocked out over the Fourth of July holiday, as shown in a video Kweller posted earlier in the summer.