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Tyrese Gibson and Cody Walker Are ‘So Proud’ to Honor the Late Paul Walker With FuelFest

Tyrese Gibson and Cody Walker Are Proud to Honor Paul Walker at FuelFest
Tyrese Gibson, Cody Walker, Paul Walker. Getty Images (3)

More than a decade after Paul Walker‘s 2013 death, his brother Cody Walker and Fast & Furious costar Tyrese Gibson are still committed to honoring him at FuelFest.

“I miss him. It’s really hard to not think about Paul,” Gibson, 45, told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview alongside Cody while promoting the car show. FuelFest, presented by Jada Toys, takes place June 1 in Irwindale, California and helps raise money for Reach Out WorldWide (ROWW), the nonprofit charity founded by Paul.

“Tyrese and I, and through FuelFest and through everything we’ve done here, we’ve been able to raise about a half a million dollars to date, so we’re very, very proud of that,” Cody told Us of their FuelFest fundraising efforts. “Obviously, that’s a piece of Paul that he left behind that we see as part of his legacy, so it’s an honor to be able to have so much fun and doing something that he would himself enjoy and something that helps to keep that dream alive.”

Gibson explained that ROWW sends help to areas affected by earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. “Whatever the natural disaster is, they go there and they help out,” the Fast & Furious star explained. “So this is what Paul was doing on his private time when he wasn’t on a movie set. And it has been an honor to keep that specific passion of Paul’s alive on behalf of our brothers. We are doing events, but we do things with a heart and we do things just really thinking about the impact and the inspiration that we’re creating.”


Related: Paul Walker: His Life In Photos

The duo described FuelFest as more than just a car show and more like Comic Con for automobile enthusiasts.

“It’s a celebration of car culture,” Cody told Us, noting that it’s a family-friendly event. “We’ve got Xzibit, who’s going to be performing for us live on the stage. We’re going to have different DJ sets throughout the day. Huge car show, drifting all day long — and that involves also ride-alongs. People can actually sign up to go for a ride-along with a drift driver, which is just an incredible experience. And we’re also raising money for charity.”

Both men are California natives, and there are plenty of reunions with friends and family every time FuelFest hits Los Angeles. (The 2024 event marks their sixth time coming back to the City of Angels.) “As someone born and raised on the West Coast from the ghetto from South Central LA, the fact that we got Xzibit performing? Oh, I can’t take it,” Gibson gushed. “It is very expected of me to not have a voice left when I leave this event.”

Tyrese Gibson and Cody Walker Are Proud to Honor Paul Walker at FuelFest

Gibson even revealed to Cody that he has lifelong friends coming to the event. “Cody, you don’t know this, but I’ve been DMing back and forth with Xzibit for the last couple of weeks, beyond excited,” Gibson shared. “This is a full circle moment for me that is so crazy. … One of my childhood friends since I was eight years old, his name is Elijah Johnson, AKA EJ the DJ. When I first started realizing that singing is something that I want to do, EJ, at the same exact moment, decided he wants to be a DJ.”

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He explained that his pal has been working with Xzibit for several years and will hit the stage with the rapper at FuelFest. “This is a homecoming for us and it’s about to be special,” Gibson said.

The California FuelFest event coincides with the release of Gibson’s album, Beautiful Pain, on May 31 via his website. “I just released a new single entitled ‘I Would Still Say I Do’ — even though I’ve been through a divorce,” he explained. “If the opportunity presented itself for me to do it again, I would still say I do, because I believe in love. Maybe I’m a sucker for love.”

Finding the light in the darkness is a concept Gibson knows well. Whether dealing with the death of loved ones or the end of a marriage (he and Samantha Lee divorced in 2020 after three years of marriage), he shared that he always tries to take away something meaningful from negative experiences.

Tyrese Gibson and Cody Walker Are Proud to Honor Paul Walker at FuelFest

“The title, Beautiful Pain — we’re all going to go through something, but I think the gift and the hope that we should all have is what beauty can I discover in my pain? Where did I grow? Where did I evolve? What did I mature? What did I learn?” Gibson told Us. “I don’t think anybody gets married anticipating that it’s going to end, but if you ever get a chance to do it again, are you a better husband to be or are you just going to let history repeat itself? So yeah, all of the happy songs on the album is about the beauty I’ve discovered in my pain, and all of the topics on the album about the divorce is unpacking it.”

FuelFest tickets are available now. Kids under 12 attend free.

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