Kyle Jean-Baptiste made history in Broadway's Les Misérables, as the first African-American performer to play the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway died on August 28 after falling from a fire escape. Jean-Baptiste was 21 years old.
On August 30, the family of Jean-Baptiste released the following statement:
"Yesterday, a young man who was kind, thoughtful, respectful, confident, and vulnerable, left our world. He was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and a friend. With a smile "yay wide," a heart worn on his sleeve, and a song always on his lips, he walked with us for twenty-one years. To say he will be missed would be an understatement. Our pain has no boundaries. Kyle Xavier Seth Jean-Baptiste has left an indelible mark on all of our lives. His talent was boundless and his light was so bright. We are grateful for each and every day we got to spend with him. His energy will live on in each of us. We extend our gratitude to our extended family, Victoria Bussert, Scott Plate, Ben Sands, Cameron Mackintosh, and friends — old and new. Services will be private."