Rock star Brittany Howard reveals how family tragedy led her to stop believing in God

Brittany Howard "stopped believing in a higher power" when a family tragedy left her without a sister as a young child.

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Brittany Howard stopped believing in God when she lost her older sister
Brittany Howard stopped believing in God when she lost her older sister

Brittany Howard "stopped believing in a higher power" during her first experience of grief.

The 35-year-old rock star - who is best known for fronting the band Alabama Shakes - was just a young child when both she and her older sister Jaime developed a rare cancer, retinoblastoma, and whilst she was left partially blind in one eye, her sister passed away.

Immediately after the loss, she and her family stopped attending church and Brittany realised suddenly that she no longer believed in God.

She told The Independent: "Because my mom and dad were grieving, and they didn’t want to grieve in a group. I was pretty happy about not going to church, honestly. I didn’t believe in any higher power anymore, just human beings."

The 'Stay High' hitmaker grew up in Athens, Alabama, and explained how being raised in the Southern US state when she felt so "different" to everyone else gave her the impetus to learn her craft and ended up teaching her classmates various instruments before ultimately pursue a music career herself.

She said: "I just came out of the womb different! “I was a late bloomer; I was tall; I had kinky, curly hair, and no one else I knew did. It all just made me really resilient.

"I taught myself instruments so I could then teach guitar or bass to any kid who had any interest in maybe playing with me.

"I did it for so long that by the time I actually had people around me that were interested in the craft of songwriting and learning to get better at their instruments, I was just waiting for them to stop showing up to practice.."

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