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Singer Ben Kweller announces his son has died at 16: 'Kindest, gentle soul'

"We’ll never get over him as long as we’re here on Earth," wrote the grieving musician.

Singer-songwriter Ben Kweller has announced the death of his 16-year-old son, Dorian Zev Kweller, from undisclosed causes on Feb. 27.

The heartbroken musician shared the news Feb. 28 on Instagram. “There’s no way that I can be typing this but I am .… Our son, Dorian Zev Kweller, was killed last night,” Ben Kweller wrote alongside a photo of his son. “He was only 16 and he was a true legend. 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. Please keep his spirit alive with your memories and the music he made: @reallyzev.”

Kweller, who has toured with Grammy winner Ed Sheeran, went on to say his that his late son wrote and recorded original music every day under the moniker Zev.

“A true poet from the day he started speaking. Only a few of his recordings were released but he was on a path and excited about his journey. He had so many plans!!!” wrote the grieving father.

Kweller added that his son’s first music gig was scheduled for two weeks from now at the South By Southeast (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. “My baby boy was at the starting line with so much life ahead of him…

"I have no idea why things like this happen," Kweller wrote, adding that he, his wife, Lizzy, and their younger son, Judah, were in shock and "have no idea how to deal with this disaster."

Ben Kweller performs at The Roxy Theatre on April 23, 2019 in West Hollywood, CA.
Ben Kweller onstage in 2019. The musician announced the death of his 16-year-old son, Dorian Zev Kweller.Harmony Gerber / Getty Images

In August 2022, Kweller shared a photo of Doran Zev Kweller on Instagram, speaking about the teen’s musical talent in the caption. “It’s gotten to the point where I’m absolutely BLOWN AWAY by his output. As much as this might seem like a proud dad moment, I’m coming to you as a music fan sharing an artist that I think you’ll really LOVE,” he wrote.

Ben Kweller added that he had been helping his son record his music in the family’s barn. “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,” he wrote.