Fans of The Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People have religiously tuned in each week to see Billy, Ami, and their offspring rough it as they survive the wild and live off the grid in the remote, Alaskan wilderness. They live off of the land, build their shelters, and take pride in their chosen lifestyle.
What viewers aren't always privy to is that there is much more to this rough and tumble clan than meets the eye. Much speculation has surrounded the group in regards to their authenticity in recent years. The Browns might not be as transparent as television makes them out to be. Check out these fifteen "pre-fame" facts we dug up on the Bush people.
15 Billy And Ami Are Texans
The Billy and Ami that viewers see seem to be as Alaskan as snow and ice. Many viewers of this popular show don't realize that this could not be farther from the truth. Both Bill and Ami grew up in the Lone Star State! That's right. The patriarch and matriarch of the infamous Alaskan Bush People are Texans.
14 Billy Was Born Into Wealth
When you look at Alaskan Bush People's Billy Brown, the last thing you think of is dollar signs. While he appears to viewers to be a man of meager means, Billy Brown came from quite a bit of wealth. Billy's father was a well-to-do entrepreneur, but the Browns' lavish lifestyle ended when Billy's famous perished in a plane crash in 1969.
13 And Endured His Fair Share Of Heartbreak
Family man Billy endured his fair share of heartache before becoming famous for living off of the Alaskan land. He lost his family, and his family's wealth when his mom and died in a 1969 plane accident. He also went through a divorce, leaving two children from his previous marriage behind.
12 Former Teen Bride
Billy was a married father of two before he met Ami and decided that he needed to make her Mrs. Brown the reboot. Ami was only fifteen years old when she wed a 26-year-old Billy. Her family agreed to the union on the condition that she stay in school and finish her education, but that never happened.
11 Law Breaking Browns
Dad Billy and son Matt landed in some hot water when they were found guilty of 60 counts of falsification. While not a lot of hardcore time was spent behind bars, some severe fines did have to be paid. Since then, they have managed to stay on the right side of the law and keep their noses clean.
10 They Used To Go By Another Name
It is hard to think of this family as anything other than the Alaskan Bush People. Before The Discovery Network decided on the name that would propel them into fame, they were known as The Alaskan Wilderness Family. This changing of the show names isn't all that uncommon. The famous sitcom Friends was once coined to be Friends Like Us.
9 Billy Once Had A Whole Different Family Too!
Before Birdie, Matt, Bam Bam and the gang, there was Twyla. Billy was initially married to a woman named Brenda, who he wed when she was only seventeen years old. That first marriage produced a daughter named Twila. While the show makes viewers believe Billy and his eldest daughter and estranged, many close to the pair say they have had on and off contact over the years.
8 Author Before Television Star
Before Billy Brown was a popular, reality television dad, he was an author. Brown wrote the books One Day At A Time, and The Lost Years before dipping his toes into reality television. Book literary works can be purchased on Amazon. The family also peddled the copies on their website, even though they claimed to be technological virgins.
7 Son Matt Often Landed On The Wrong Side Of The Law
Alaskan Bush boy Matt has had his fair share of less-than-savory moments. He and Dad Billy got caught lying to the government on federal documents in 2016, earning them jail time and hefty fines, but Matt has also struggled with the bottle. Thus far, he has been to rehabilitation centers twice.
6 They Were Tech-Savvy Despite What The Show Portrays
The producers on the show want viewers to believe that the Browns are alien-like. They seem so far removed from creature comforts like running water and electricity that they might as well be from another planet. This concept isn't all that accurate. Not only do many locals claim the family lives in luxury when they are not filming, but the gang had social media channels well before the show aired. They continue to flaunt themselves on the internet.
5 Prefame Accidents, Lifelong Effects
This family is relatively accident-prone. Bear Brown was in a near full-body cast when he was five years old due to an accident that catapulted him into a life of fearlessness. Noah Brown also suffered from a severe accident before filming began. This accident left him in need of a cane.
4 Baby Birdie Was A Suprise
Snowbird Brown, aka Birdie, was a bit of a surprise for the Brown family, and not because the homesteaders thought that they were done breeding wilderness offspring. Birdie was the first girl to join the family following five straight boys. Needless to say, everyone was pretty surprised and excited when a "she" arrived.
3 Raindrop Had A Serious Affinity For Barbie Dolls
Daughter Raindrop is best known for her extra long, and extra original name. Her full moniker is Merry Christmas Catherine Raindrop Brown. That sure is a mouthful! Rainy is also known as Bush Barbie. Per Nickiswift.com, this is because the girly girl has always had a deep love for the iconic Barbie dolls and anything pink and frilly.
2 Ami Had Strained Family Relations
Ami Brown has a less than ideal relationship with her mother and siblings. Ami has accused her family of exploitation and went as far as to claim her father often hit the bottle, making her childhood less than pleasant. Viewers of the hit reality show saw Ami's 83-year-old mother travel all the way to Alaska to see her daughter and grandkids. She arrived at an empty house because the Browns were vacationing in sunny Hawaii at the time. Ouch.
1 Cabin Controversy
There are several conflicting tales regarding how the Brown family cabin burnt down. One story is that the government was somewhat responsible for the home's destruction while other accounts lay blame on an accidental spark being behind its demise. When asked about the loss of the house, Billy remained mum saying that all he could comment on was that he wasn't home at the time of the fire.
Resources: nickiswift.com, intouchweekly.com, thetravel.com