The Tragic Death Of America's Got Talent Contestant Skilyr Hicks

Former "America's Got Talent" contestant Skilyr Hicks has died. The reality star competed on Season 8 of the NBC talent search, and sadly died aged just 23, according to TMZ. Hicks' cause of death has not yet been confirmed publicly, though her mom, Jodi, did confirm to the outlet that Hicks died on December 6 and was "found lifeless in the home of a friend." Hicks also confirmed that her daughter had "mental health issues" and "substance abuse" problems and experienced depression in her short life.

Fans may recognize Hicks from her "America's Got Talent" audition. The star — who has several songs available to stream — appeared on the talent search back in 2013 when the judging panel was made up of Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel, and her audition featured interview excerpts from Jodi who accompanied her daughter to the big audition, as Hicks was only 14-years-old at the time.

The young singer/songwriter performed an original song for the judges, titled "Brand New Day," and shared her touching story with the judges and America. She explained that she actually taught herself to play guitar in the wake of her dad's death, as he had passed away a few years earlier, and the song was for him. Hicks made it through the televised audition and performed a second original song, called "Second Chance," at the next stage but did not make it to the live shows.

Skilyr Hicks tributes

Tributes to Skilyr Hicks poured in across social media, with many leaving sweet messages for the late "America's Got Talent" contestant on her public Instagram account. Several Instagram users left touching comments relating to her death on her final upload, a selfie posted in May 2020.

"May you sing in heaven and be at peace," one person wrote, while another commented, "Rest in peace [red heart emoji] such a wonderful talented person." A third person wrote, "She had a lot of talent and she was a beautiful singer may she Rest In Peace," alongside a sad face emoji.

Though she hadn't updated her Instagram grid for more than a year before her death in December 2021, it seemed Hicks was still singing in the wake of her "AGT" audition. In August 2019, she shared two videos on Instagram of herself singing and playing the guitar, including a stunning rendition of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," alongside two selfies.

Hicks' death was announced during an already sad time for the NBC show, as it was confirmed mere days before that another "America's Got Talent" musician, Jay Jay Phillips, had died.

Hicks is survived by her family, including her mom and three siblings. Her mom, Jodi, touchingly told TMZ, "She will live on through her music."

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