For 12 seasons, the discovery Channel has actually captivated audiences with Alaskan bush People, the reality display starring the Brown family and also their search to live off the network in a supposedly desolate component of Alaska. Billy and also Ami Brown claimed to have lugged up their seven youngsters by living off the land for several years — though due to the fact that the present has obtained popularity complying with its 2014 debut, so has the scrutiny of your so-called "bush living."

With the latest season finishing in October 2020, it"s unclear even if it is the Brown clan will return to our TV screens (via Premiere Date), or even if unseen footage of Billy will show up in upcoming episodes, following his death in February 2021. Ever since Season 8, with Ami and also Bill battling grave health issues, the family members moved numerous times, before settling ~ above a mountain in Okanogan County, Wash., for this reason they might still indulge your rural fantasy while continuing to be closer come a hospital, Parade notes.

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According come TV Insider, Season 12 was partially "self-shot" by the Browns as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ended not just with the household losing their home in the Palmer wildfire, which damaged out near their land in respectable 2020, but additionally with the show"s dwindling ratings. While the Browns" future absolutely seems up in the waiting (especially because some fans room gunning for the show"s cancellation), much has actually been revealed of their past, particularly when it pertains to the patriarch and matriarch that this wild crew, Billy and Ami Brown.


According to Capital City Weekly (via Starcasm), Billy Brown had actually a pretty life in north Richland Hills, Texas. The was offered lavish gifts, consisting of "a new ski boat" in ~ 14, "a new Camaro" at 15, and "the household Cessna 172" (a small airplane) in ~ 16. Noting on an episode of Alaskan shrub People that he"d grown up in "an upper-middle class family," Billy said, "We were a an extremely tight family. Mine mom and dad were my very an excellent friends. The only finest friend I had over them to be my sister." 

But his totality life readjusted in 1969, when he lost his whole family in a airplane crash. Follow to Billy"s two memoirs, One wave at a Time and The lost Years — yes, he was an author, and a bushman and former advertisement fisherman — he came to be a ward of the state, and was somehow duped the end of any inheritance by scheming judges and also lawyers. It"s every pretty murky, together is much with the backstory of the Browns. But this was whereby Billy"s wanderlust kicked in. Broke and also homeless, that "criss-crossed America over the next 10 plus years" (via Capital City Weekly), at some point meeting future wife Ami Brown (more on that below).

At any rate, because of his truth TV earnings, Billy to be technically much more privileged and also wealthy in ~ the finish of his life 보다 he was also at the beginning, through a reported familial network worth the $60 million, per The Sun.


Ami Brown"s household estrangement has actually manifested itself a few times on Alaskan bush People, but likewise in a bizarre event in which her mother, Earlene Branson, test to take trip to Alaska to surprised Ami in 2016. Follow to Juneau Empire, after 37 year of estrangement, Earlene "made the 3,500 mile expedition without confirmation from the Browns" only to find that they to be vacationing in Malibu in ~ the time. In what is more than likely the saddest sentence ever spoken, the then-83-year-old Branson said of her daughter, "I desire to hug she neck and also see my grandchildren. I simply want to check out her before I die."

The whole thing was oddly planned and also publicized through Earlene"s great-nephew, chuck Gilbert, who also posted videos of the journey to a YouTube page dubbed Memaw"s expedition To Alaska. For some reason, the web page still exists, although all of the content has been deleted.

So, what to be Ami"s response to all of this? She accused her relatives of exploitation, and said top top an episode of Alaskan shrub People the her father"s alcoholism "tore our household apart." She added, "Watching these points as a child, you discover from it. That is the factor why i don"t permit them know where, physically, i am." For your part, Ami"s alienated kinfolk have actually accused Billy Brown of being incredibly controlling, and also effectively brainwashing Ami versus them. And that"s just the guideline of the iceberg when it involves Branson v. Brown.


Amora Lee Branson prospered up external of Ft. Worth, Texas. She was the youngest of 3 siblings, according to her mother and also brother, Earlene and also Les Branson, that spoke come R Online in an noticeable attempt to refute part allegations do in Billy Brown"s autobiographies. Les claimed Ami "had a great childhood," and Earlene said she was "spoiled rotten" — a stark contrast to Billy"s claim that Ami "grew up dust poor." Les and Earlene additionally contradicted Ami"s claims of growing up in a home "filled through violence," return they identified that her parents" divorce "brought her part pain."

Additionally, the Bransons asserted that a 26-year-old Billy, who"d done plumbing job-related for Earlene, lied around his age when he convinced them to let the marry Ami as soon as she was simply 15. " offered the impression that he was really wealthy," Les claimed. "... We thought that the would carry out for Ami, the he would store her in school, and never save her from see us. And also we never saw she again!" 

Yeesh, and also here we believed escaping to a frigid Alaskan forest would it is in a surefire way to escape family drama. "For years, I"ve wished the amends could be made, for this reason our kids could have family," Ami once said. "But there space many people out there the are an ext family 보다 them." Tragically, this reconciliation never ever happened prior to her mother"s fatality in 2018. Ami"s other brother, Larry "Rene" Branson, likewise died from cancer in 2020.

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Ami and Billy Brown to be married for over 40 years. Billy called it "love at an initial sight" in his One tide at a Time memoir (via PopSugar), however it wasn"t always marital bliss. As formerly mentioned, the Alaskan bush People stars re-superstructure an 11-year age difference, and also Ami was just 15 as soon as the 2 married in 1979. This led to quite the scandal when R Online obtained their marriage certificate in 2015. Yet as ScreenRant notes, it was technically legal earlier then because that a Texan girl to get hitched at simply 14 year old with parental approval. However, Ami"s mom had actually some conditions: she had actually to complete her high school education. 

Obviously, this didn"t happen: Ami reduced ties with the Branson clan after ~ the nuptials, and also her brother, Les, tested Billy, who supposedly told him, "That"s none of her mother"s business now. She belongs come me!" Um, yikes? The pair welcomed their first two children by the time Ami was 19 and also ended up living in Alaska. Castle later had to it is in rescued after gaining "stranded for 18 month on Mosman Island," follow to Capital City Weekly (via Starcasm). This in which method led the Browns to realize that the Alaskan wilderness was where they were intended to be. They invited a total of 7 kids, and also the rest is truth TV history. 

"As lengthy as Ami and my family are next to me," Billy to be quoted together saying in his discovery Channel bio, "I"ll ride the wind the adventure come the end."


One the the huge plot clues in Alaskan shrub People"s fifth season to be Billy Brown reuniting v a claimed "long shed daughter" from a previous marriage. The cryptically hinted in ~ his failed marital relationship with a woman named Brenda in The shed Years, writing, "For those years of mine life there"s not much I desire to say," before describing his ex-wife as "mature for she years," and having called him that "she never ever loved me ... And also in much less than a year she uncovered she didn"t also like me." Presumably, it was from this marital relationship that Billy had two daughters, with whom he had actually been estranged for decades.

The present took full benefit of this storyline and even flew Twila Byars, among Billy"s daughters, up to Browntown — the family"s ramshackle woodland house — because that what was depicted as a reunion of sorts. Except, according to Channel guide Magazine, the was conveniently revealed that not only had actually the family members known around Twila for rather some time, however there was additionally evidence on social media that Twila and also Billy had "communicated over the years on occasion," every an insider quote by R Online. (Wait, go this median something on fact TV might have to be fake?! us know, not exactly a shock.) 

Twila later showed up to throw shade at her dad"s next of the family members on Facebook, explain to it is in "the typical one in D.N.A. Lineage." But shady mystery daughters regrettably wasn"t whereby the fraudulent task ended because that the Browns.

In 2016, Billy Brown and son Joshua pleaded guilty come falsifying information on their applications because that the Alaska Permanent money Dividend, per Juneau Empire. The PFD is "an annual dividend that is payment to Alaska citizens from investment income of mineral royalties." to qualify, you have to have resided in Alaska because that one whole year, as well as "intend to remain an Alaska residents indefinitely," though you are permitted to live the end of state for "varying reasons" for as much as 180 days.

Though they asserted to have actually lived in the Alaskan wilderness because that decades, it to be revealed the they "previously signed created statements admitting they left the state in October 2009 and didn"t return until August 2012," but continued to collection PFD funds v that time. A cool jury examination led to charges for six out of the ripe Brown family members members pertained to the case, but those extr charges were dropped in exchange for Billy and Joshua"s plea deal.

In total, the family members swindled the state out of $20,938 in PFD money. Billy and also Joshua to be sentenced come 30 job in jail (via residence arrest), in addition to neighborhood service and paying ago the money plus extr fines. The event served come highlight 2 things: The Browns have virtually certainly never ever lived totally off the land, and also for at least three years, castle couldn"t even stand to live in the state they declared to love therefore dearly because that even fifty percent the year.

Alaskan bush People star Billy Brown publicly shared three various accounts of exactly how the family lost their original, hand-built bush cabin. Follow to the display synopsis top top The exploration Channel"s website, "The cabin wherein they lived for years was seized and also burned to the ground because that being in the wrong place on windy land," which is an accusation that heavily implies the a government firm destroyed the family"s home.

But follow to R Online, Billy composed in his 2007 memoir, One wave at a Time, the the fire was accidental. And in yet one more variation of the story, per Channel guide Magazine, once talking around the fire throughout a segment top top the show, Billy go the whole thing ago to: "My cabin burned and also I wasn"t home. That"s all I can say." 

So, walk Billy actually are afraid retribution from the alleged arsonist federal government agents, or was the whole thing a bit of extra drama cooked approximately amplify the regarded drama that the family"s situation? That an enig has continued to be unclear.

In 2017, the Brown family discovered themselves in the middle of Ami"s lung cancer diagnosis. Together chronicled ~ above the show, she treatment carried them the end of the bush and also into southerly California, then Colorado, so she could receive the ideal care possible. Speaking v People that August, Billy revealed the Ami"s prognosis was not good: "It"s in both lungs, in the middle and sides of the lungs." 

Having been offered "as low together a 3 percent" opportunity of living, Ami revealed in a different interview that the reason she want to keep doing the show as well as make her therapy public was to assist people who might be going through a comparable battle, and also to "take far a lot of their fear" around what treatment entails. "I realized early into this that it"s an extremely easy to desire to offer up and also just die," Ami said. "And on the pessimist side, it might be my last days. However I have the will certainly to fight." She was thankfully declared cancer-free in January 2018.

However, part fans wondered about the legitimacy the Ami"s diagnosis. The recurring speculation gave means to social media backlash versus the Browns, which resulted in Ami"s doctor releasing a statement come People in march 2019. "Amora Brown to be diagnosed with stage III non-small cabinet lung cancer in April 2017," review the statement. "Treatment for she cancer had a four-month course of chemotherapy through radiation. Her disease responded well to the treatment, and ... She is currently in remission."

Before Ami Brown"s fight for she life ended up being a plot point, Alaskan shrub People likewise documented husband Billy"s struggle with some sort of seizure disorder in 2015, which in an echo of Ami"s cancer situation, likewise forced the household into the "lower 48" while the recovered.

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Speaking exclusively with R Online, the Brown family patriarch said in his frequently vague fashion, "The seizures have been walking on since my coma, and what occurred is they began progressing and also lasting a lot longer, acquiring harder." Supposedly, doctors can never monitor the reason of the eight-day coma, which likewise left him v a host of various other issues: "Everything closeup of the door down: my kidneys, my lungs. My mind swelled to like 75 percent. Lock literally believed that I would be child-like if ns did wake up up. It to be really negative thing the we"ve been fighting for virtually 10 years now."

Billy was later on briefly hospitalized because that an top respiratory epidemic in October 2018, per Country Living, and also would continue to deal with heart, kidney, and breathing concerns over the next couple of years. According to The U.S. Sun, Billy"s doctors thought his health troubles to be in part caused him "def doctor"s orders and continu to live top top the mountains with his family." after ~ undergoing surgical treatment in 2019, Billy and also Ami"s son, Bear, revealed (via Soap Dirt) the his dad compelled further testing and treatment.

Amid their respective wellness struggles, Ami and also Billy Brown started to take things much easier than the Alaskan terrain had apparently forced in previous years. "Alaska beat the crud the end of me," the family"s patriarch confessed come People in 2019, when Ami quipped that they to be " spring chicken anymore." 

With the so-called "Wolf Pack" resolved on a mountain in Washington state, the semi-retired couple could emphasis on their health, through Ami returning to California because that post-cancer checkups 4 times a year. "In over a year ns hadn"t go hardly at all," Ami said. "So walking about here deserve to be really taxing on my legs." Luckily, she has a tractor, gifted to her by her husband, to help her out. "It"s pretty cool," Ami, who in true fashion said she also enjoys tending to she garden, said. "And I can have me an orchard because that the grandbabies."

Meanwhile, their adult kids began taking on the labor of "recreating your self-proclaimed "Browntown,"" as Parade put it, "This time with each the their own individual homes, beginning their very own families and also attempting to launch a self-sustainable ranch." Billy called People, "We fell in love v the totality area." For her part, Ami added, "We"re very blessed."

Billy Brown supposedly remained "in and also out that the hospital" as he ongoing to deal with these medical issues, every The Sun. Tragically, on Feb. 7, 2021, the Alaskan shrub People patriarch died unexpectedly in ~ the age of 68. 

The complying with day, the couple"s son, Bear, required to his personal Instagram account to share the sad news. "We room heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed far last night after suffering from a seizure," that wrote. "He was our best friend — a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will certainly be dearly missed. He live his life on his terms, turn off the grid and off the land and taught united state to live like that together well." be afflicted with continued, "We setup to respect his legacy going forward, and also to continue with his dream." as of this writing, Ami hasn"t commented on the loss of she husband. However, daughter Rainy requested fans" thoughts and prayers, "especially mine mother."

Though the backstory of these nature-loving folks is a little bit dubious, it"s undeniable that the Alaskan bush People parents loved every other and their youngsters dearly. Together the family members mourns Billy"s death, let"s recall part wise words from his heartfelt 2017 interview with People: "We speak a lot around wanting flexibility in ours lives. That"s why we relocated out there. Yet ... Freedom is having actually a household so solid and so with you the you can gain through anything."