‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant Skilyr Hicks dead at 23

U.S. and World

Fans are seen gathering outside of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium ahead of a 2019 taping of “America’s Got Talent” in California. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Skilyr Hicks, a singer and songwriter who appeared on “America’s Got Talent” in 2013, was found dead earlier this week, authorities with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed. She was 23.

Hicks’ body was found at the home of a friend in South Carolina, her mother Jodi told TMZ. The cause of her death was not immediately made public.

Hicks’ sister, Breelyn, said Hicks died on Monday, according to a social media post.

“I’ll miss her voice, her long warm hugs, her constantly making jokes using puns. Her ability to create music that inspired thousands of people,” wrote Breelyn on Facebook. “She had so much life left to live.”

Hicks, from North Augusta, South Carolina, appeared as a contestant on the eighth season of “America’s Got Talent,” performing an original song titled “Second Chance.” She was only 14 at the time of her audition, explaining on the show that she turned to music after her father’s death a few years prior.  

“That was a really difficult time for me,” she said at the time. “Music helped me let out all the emotion that was building up inside of me.”

News of Skilyr Hicks’ passing comes only a few weeks after the death of fellow “AGT” contestant Jay Jay Phillips, who passed in late November, reportedly due to complications of COVID-19.

“We miss you brother, every second of every minute, of every day,” Phillips’ bandmates wrote on social media. “Thank you for teaching us all to laugh a little more. Rock in Paradise.”

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