Former America’s Got Talent contestant Skilyr Hicks, who auditioned for the show in 2013 as a 14 year old singer-songwriter, had died at age 23.
According to TMZ, Skilyr passed away Monday (Dec 6). She was found lifeless in the home of a friend, according to her mother Jodi. She told TMZ that she doesn’t know the actual homeowner. The body was discovered in Liberty, South Carolina.
While the exact circumstances and cause of her death are still unknown to the family, Jodi shared that her daughter battled with mental health issues, including depression and substance abuse. She also told TMZ that Skilyr was loved by her family and 4 siblings and that she used her music to help people in need. “She will live on through her music,” Jodi said.
Skilyr appeared on season 8 of America’s Got Talent in 2013, auditioning for Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern, who advanced her to the next round after she performed an original song.
According to Skilyr’s backstory, her father also appeared to struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues. His death a few years prior, after an estrangement, prompted her to write her feelings down in song.
Skilyr, a self-taught musician, singer and songwriter, received four yeses from the judges but was eliminated shortly thereafter before the live rounds in New York City.
The artist ran into some legal trouble in her later years. She got arrested for underage drinking in 2018, and also spent time in jail in 2017 for allegedly battering her family. Specifically, she assaulted 3 family members, including her grandmother, after returning home intoxicated.