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YouTuber and self-appointed relationship guru Kevin Samuels, dead at 56

Kevin Samuels' dating advice was often fodder for heated discussion about marriage and dating.
Kevin Samuels' dating advice was often fodder for heated discussion about marriage and dating.

Kevin Samuels, the self-appointed relationship guru, has died at the age of 56. His mother, Beverly Samuels-Burch confirmed the news to NBC News.

The Atlanta Police Department confirmed with NPR that Samuels was found unresponsive on the floor of his apartment yesterday evening, and had complained about chest pains earlier in the morning. He was then transported to the hospital.

With over a million followers on YouTube and Instagram each, Samuels' takes on "high value men" and "leftover women" often became fodder for online conversations about dating, sex, marriage, and more. Oftentimes his advice would lean into denigrating Black women – particularly who were educated and accomplished.

"When you ask women who are in their mid to late 30s – even in their early 40s, who are boss chicks, bad chicks," he said on his latest Instagram post. "But can you cook?"

Samuels got his start in public relations and image consulting – recommending shoes and fragrances for men to use to attract women. He parlayed his conversations with his clients into becoming a media figure in his own right, and started streaming his thoughts on relationships and why women who were between the ages of 27 and 35 were in the "danger zone."

His popularity rose quickly in recent years as started featuring call-in shows with people calling in on Instagram Live or Zoom asking for advice (and sometimes pushing back) about dating. Generally, his advice to men was about building themselves up, and his advice to women was about subservience.

He often framed his advice as truth-telling. "People don't tell women the truth these days," he said in a 2021 interview with VladTV. "We have no problem telling average men you ain't crap."

Just recently, he invited controversy by stating that unmarried women over 35 years were "leftover," adding that "men know that there is something likely wrong with you." The comment led to people calling him a misogynist.

Responding to his critics, he positioned himself as a feminist in a recent video. "For someone to say I hate women is a willful, ignorant position," he said.

Samuels told the podcast No Jumper that when he was 21, he was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma. "I've always known that we're on borrowed time," he said. "Through hook or crook, I wanna be the best at what I do to get the most out of this life. Because it's not promised to us."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.