Radio host Rick Burgess' son Bronner drowns

01/20/2008 at 09:32 PM ET

William Bronner ‘Cornbread’ Burgess, the 2-year-old son of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show and his wife Sherri, passed away suddenly on Saturday, January 19th as a result of drowning.

Rescue workers were called to the Burgess’ home around 7:30 p.m. after it was discovered that Bronner had fallen into the family’s pool. The workers performed CPR but were unable to revive Bronner, and he was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL.

The following statement was published on Rick and Bubba’s website,

We ask that you bathe Rick, Sherri, and the entire Burgess family in prayer as they deal with the loss of their youngest son, Bronner Burgess. We all are grieving together in this terrible loss.

The Burgess’ want to give all Honor and Glory to God for the many blessings He has given us, especially the life of Bronner Burgess. And while we do not understand, we know who is in charge and His will be done in life and in death.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, click here.

Source: Huliq

Thanks to CBB reader Carrie.


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Showing 42 comments

Taylor on

Oh wow. Being from Birmingham I listen to The Rick and Bubba Show often. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Burgess family. I pray that God be with them and help them through this very painful time.

Beverley on

Oh my gosh, that is terrible. My sincere condolences go out to them. The loss of a child is the worst thing in life to go through. They are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Dana on

This just breaks my heart. No parent should have to go through such a loss.

PSB on

I don’t really know who they are, but this story brought tears to my eyes. I have a nearly two year old son too, and I can’t even imagine what I would do if anything ever happened to him (knock on wood). I just can’t even entertain the thought – and these poor people have to live through this. They’ll be in my thoughts.

M on

i feel so sad for them. i have said it here before, but i know all too well how it feels – terrible. what a sweet little guy, when i read they call him ‘cornbread’ it made me smile. my thoughts & prayers are with them.

Debbie on

My prayers & thoughts go out to your family as you struggle with this devastating loss. I can never imagine how it feels and never ever want to either.

Rest in peace little one

liz on

oh wow i listen to rick and bubba every morning my condolences go out to rick and his family

rest in peace bronner

Heather on

hmmm….I don’t think I would have used the term bathe in this statement!

seems a little inappropriate to me given the circumstances.

prayers and thoughts go out to their entire family!!!

taryn on

Honestly, Heather, it’s their family, and they just lost their child, I think they can choose whatever words they want to use! Quite frankly, your attempt to make an issue out of it is what’s inappropriate. Could you not have perhaps kept your thoughts to yourself on that one?

CBB? Sometimes, you should just not post some comments.

To the family of little Bronner – all my thoughts are with you.

Sarah’s note: There are hundreds that we don’t post. Reading over that again, yes, maybe it was inappropriate. If you want to share your opinion on that, that is of course fine.

Leigh on

I am so shocked to hear about this. You almost know these two guys personally because of listening to them everyday. You get so wrapped up in their families because you hear about their children’s typical antics. In times like this it is almost surreal that things like this can happen. But there is a reason and a time for these things. We may not understand why but God knows. God bless this special family during this time.

Heather on

Hearing things like this makes me feel sick to my stomach with the sadness I feel for this family and other familes who have experienced this. Its such an unfortunate accident. My thoughts are with them at this time.

gabriella on

OMG how very sad

Jenn on

I am a frequent reader of the CBB, but never have posted any comments, as I don’t have kids but just like the celeb baby news.
However, seeing as this has hit close to home, I wanted to post.

I don’t get to listen to Rick & Bubba as much as I used to, but this news has just come as a complete shock to all who know or listen to their show. Anyone who is even a sporadic listener to the show knows how much the guys’ families are all a part of the broadcast, and there will be a huge void now where stories about Cornbread’s latest antics with a lightsaber or hearing what his newest accomplishment is should be.

Add to this horrible tragedy, but Rick was out of town when the accident happened. According to Bubba’s interview (Bubba’s interview can be seen here: in two parts) with the local news station, he was on a speaking engagement in TN, when he got the call of the accident. He also said they would be having a memorial service on Tuesday, and that Rick and Sherri have opened it to the public so that any listeners who want to come offer their condolences can do so.

Hopefully Rick & Sherri and their other 4 kids, as well as the rest of the Rick & Bubba
family, will draw strength from the Rick & Bubba “Army” during this time of loss.

Kresta on

What a beautiful little boy. I can only imagine the heartache his family must be feeling. Rest peacefully little man.

Sarita on

This is so sad, I can’t even imagine. Losing one of your children must be the worst thing that can happen to you.
How they can still thank god is beyond me.

CTBmom on

How very very tragic, my thoughts and prayers are with them.

evelyn Molina on

Living in Florida, we have the most pools beside CA. I have a pool of my own and a 2 1/2 year old. That is my constant fear as you hear about it so much in the news. This really made me feel so sad,because no matter how good of parents you are there is always that split second where accidents happen and then it’s too late. I hope God gives them the serenity to deal with this horrible tragedy. Just yesterday, I was looking at an empty house that it’s for sale and the gate was open on the side to the yard. There was a pool there, anyone’s child can just wander in there. So as I left I told my husband I closed the gate to this house, maybe I just saved someone’s little kid. Well Take care,


Angie on

I am sending out my condolences to the entire Burgess family and lifting them up in my prayers. God took your baby boy home and made him an Angel in Heaven. You will be together again in Heaven. God Bless.

Southlyn on

This is breaking my heart. I’ve listened to Rick and Bubba for many years. I still rememeber when Rick called into the show to say that Bronner had been born. I remember remarking to someone how touched I was that he seemed as over joyed with the birth of his fifth child as he had been with his first.

For those who do not know Rick Burgess. He is one of the finest men I’ve ever met. He has a heart of gold and loves his children so very much. I’ve never known a man who gets more joy out of being a father.

Beverley on

To Heather who posted at 12:32, normally I don’t have a problem with people who pick apart other people’s decisions, skills, choice of words, or whatever. We are all entitled to our own opinion. Sometimes it’s me who comments in opposition to something I read a celebrity does, here on CBB.
However, attacking the choice of words this family made during the most tragic circumstances they will ever experience in their lives is cruel.
This family, and any family going through this loss, should be off limits to our judgements and should be allowed to ask us to bathe them in prayer if they want to. I am bathing them in prayer and maybe you could too instead of judging their words.

Callen on

My heart goes out to this family. This is very sad, they’re in my prayers.

Carrie Jo on

What a sad, sad story. My prayers go out to the family.

Mike Walsh on

Does anyone know the specifics? Was this an inground pool where the gate was left open?

I have long been an advocate of stating that more kids drown than are killed by handgun accidents. I just finihsed Clapton’s book and his rehab clinic in Antigua has become his purpose in life in his own sobriety. Possibly, when the time is right, the Burgess family could use this awful tragedy to lobby states that anyone putting a pool in-ground or above needs to take a 2-3 hour class that points out to people just exactly WHAT DOES happen to 1200+ children a year. My gates are double locked and there are no small kids on the block. My neighbor’s lock broke a long time and he doesn’t worry about it. I’m not even sure of the laws in my state. I just have always locked the pool and even had a beam at one point when access from the house was an option.

This is terrible for anyone, and possibly this could be a way for them to bring something positive from it by informing all others.


sandra oldham on

this is the worst possible thing that could happen. I have listened to Rick and Bubba for years and know what good people they are. My prayers are with them now and always.

glenda trammell on

i feel terrible about this, no-one should have to go through this!! my thoughts and prayers go out to this family and anyone whos gone through losing a precious child . god bless you.

Jill on

Beverly-just because Heather made that comment does not mean she is being judgmental. I myself had the same exact thought when I read the posting. Before you jump to conclusions it clearly states in the post that it posted on the Rick and Bubba website and you can tell from the way it is worded stating that you pray for them, not us, in the loss of their, not our, son. Clearly, it was not the family but from someone else close to the family who posted it. I too feel it was a poor choice in words and that does not make me a judgmental person. With as many words as there are in the English language it does seem like an odd/inappropriate choice given the circumstances.

I too feel very sorry for the family and they are in my thoughts.

Barbara on

Why does everyone (including CBB) keep saying the boy’s name was “Bronner Burgess” when his dad’s own web site says his name was “WILLIAM Bronner Burgess”?

Sarah’s note: None of us are familiar with the family or the show. On the press releases that went out, he was referred to as Bronner. I do see the photo with his first name as William on the site though, and I’d be happy to add that in to the post.

Mattie on

I am so so sorry, my heart is breaking for them. Rick and Bubba always made me laugh
each morning while getting ready for work
here in Atlanta. My prayers are with you
and your family.

katie on

Barbara –

They call him Bronner (on the show, they would sometimes refer to him as ‘Cornbread’). All of the children go by a “B” name. Rick’s kids were known endearingly as “The Killer B’s” b/c of their names: Brandi, Blake, Brooks, Brody and Bronner.

In everyday life, they use the middle names.

Bella Mama on

my heart aches for this family.. God Bless them and their sweet little boy..

southlyn on

Gene Sparks on

We know it’s a real blessing for your son to be with our Dear Lord. And it’s without a doubt he is missed by you and your family. We can’t say we know how you feel, but we want you to know we know it hurts, and it grieves you all. We love your family as a family in Christ and we extend our most sincere prayers for all of you.

May God bless you and Keep you and your family,

Gene & Peggy
Arab, Al.

Gene Sparks on

We know it’s a real blessing for your son to be with our Dear Lord. And it’s without a doubt he is missed by you and your family. We can’t say we know how you feel, but we want you to know we know it hurts, and it grieves you all. We love your family as a family in Christ and we extend our most sincere prayers for all of you.

May God bless you and Keep you and your family,

Gene & Peggy
Arab, Al.

Angela on

If you want to be profoundly impacted today please go to the rickandbubba website and listen to Rick’s comments at his son’s memorial service on Tuesday…it’s not for the faint of heart though. Fair warning. You WILL feel something.

Tucker19 on

It is my understanding that Bronner knew how to swim and had several swim lessons. I am thinking that maybe he slipped on ice by the pool and he fell in the pool (It had snowed here in Birmingham that weekened). I do not know the exact details but I’m thinking that maybe Bronner hit his head and was unconscious when he fell in or the shock of the cold water kept him from being able to swim back out of the pool.

Bubba said that the kids had played in the snow all day and that night Sherri brought the kids in, sat them down for a movie while she took a quick shower. When she got out she noticed Bronner was missing from the room and then noticed the back door was open. The back door was supposed to have been locked and probably was.

I’d like to repeat what a listener called in an said Monday:

“Heaven just got a little sweeter because it just got a taste of ‘cornbread'”…..I thought that was very touching.

Tucker19 on


I had seen a slideshow on Rick and Bubba’s website yesterday but noticed today it is only showing one picture so thanks for the link!

Tucker19 on

For people that are confused about the name “Cornbread”….

The show likes to pick nick-names for everybody and that was chosed for Bronner. All of the kids, interns and some of the staff have unique nick-names. The nick-names are usually chosen because of that particular persons personality, hobbies, or just because they remind them of something.

Just an FYI….

Tina Merrick on

God bless all of you. Rest in peace little baby boy. Rest in peace.

katie on

I am amazed at the faith that this family has. I know for a fact that I could not handle this with as much grace as this family has shown. They have Rick speaking at his son’s memorial yesterday and it’s pretty profound.

Tammy on

Rick and Sherri and the entire Burgess Family I am sorry for what you have been through I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Also to the firemen from North Shelby knowing them personally for the efforts that they performed our prayers are with you. Thanks North Shelby Firemen for what you do each and every day.

vtucker on

I know that this is a terrible time in the life of the Burgess family, but it is such a blessing that they are using this tragedy for the uplifting of God’s kingdom. I am reminded of Romans 8:28 ” And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to His purpose.” Days ahead of this family will be tough, but I am confident that God will walk every step with them.

tammy1 on

I think of you everyday since this happened and can not imagine what your going through. Mother of three boys, twin(4)and a six year old. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.