KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Truly talented, full of life and dedicated. Those are just some of the words used to describe Brandon Gibson.

“He is one of the most incredible human beings to ever grace this Earth and that is not an exaggeration,” said Yasameen Hoffman-Shahin, one of Brandon’s closest friends.

“He was very truly a special person and had a way of truly feeling like he was everybody’s best friend,” Brandon’s college friend Harrison Young said. “Not just because of his smile, his glow or a joke. He was there and was present for people.”

While he was an accomplished singer and actor at 36 years old, his friends pushed him to put his love for singing and writing together in the form of an opera.

“I encouraged him to write an opera,” Kathryn Frady said. “He had never done that before and said it was crazy, but I said ‘you can do it, you’re one of the best writers I know’ and it ended up being one of the most moving things I’ve ever read in my entire life.”

His friends told WATE that they are thankful for being around him.

“I would tell him and I told him in my last letter to him, ‘I’m so thankful that I exist at the same time you do,'” Hoffman-Shahin said.

Not only was he a great writer, singer, actor, cook and person, he possessed the ability to listen like many others could not.

“If you had something you had to communicate with him,” Young said. “He was not just able to hear your words but he was able to hear your intent and meaning and just being able to really be present with you.”

The people who knew Brandon, knew that he was a special kind of person and he left a lasting impact on everyone he interacted with.

“Just scroll through Facebook for two seconds today and see the impact he had on every single person he ran into,” April Hill said. “It could be the smallest exchange, running into him on the street or seeing him at a restaurant and you light up when you see him.”

“He was a present and a gift to the world,” Hoffman-Shahin said. “I wish that the world would have given him more back.”

Brandon kept even his closest friends grounded no matter how they were feeling or what situation they were in.

“We would always go out together,” Brandon’s best friend Chris Weathers said. “I was at peace and I would just marvel at him, how he engaged with people and how perfect his words were.”

The President of The Beck Cultural Exchange Center also saying that she knew Gibson well because of how much he was involved with the center and that he came to her with his ambitions about his libretto, “I Can’t Breathe”, after the death of George Floyd.