Skilyr Hicks, the young singer who mesmerized everyone with her talent in Season 8 of America’s Got Talent, died on Monday, in Liberty, South Carolina. The 23-year-old was found unresponsive at her friend’s house and the cause of her death is currently uncertain. The sad news of her demise has been confirmed by Skilyr’s mother as well as her sister, Breelyn Hicks.
While the circumstances around her death or the cause behind it have not been revealed, Skilyr Hick’s mother, Jodi, has shared with TMZ that her daughter had been suffering from mental health issues, like depression and substance abuse. She also added that Skilyr always used her music to help people in need and “will live on through her music.”
Though no official cause of Skilyr Hicks’ death has been announced, TMZ has reported that Chief Deputy Chad Brooks at the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office suspects that former America’s Got Talent contestant died of a drug overdose. As described by the publication, Hicks was found on the floor of a bathroom, laying amidst drugs and other items. Reportedly, Hicks was already dead by the time she was discovered.
Skilyr Hicks’ sister, Breelyn took to Facebook to pen a moving post in the memory of her sister whose music “inspired thousands of people.” She confirmed that her “extremely talented” and “free spirit of a sister” has passed away, leaving behind her family to “miss her like crazy.”
After her one-time stint as an America’s Got Talent contestant, Skilyr Hicks reappeared in the headlines four years ago when she was first charged for domestic violence against her family members and then arrested for underage drinking. In 2018, it was reported that the young singer-songwriter had been apprehended for underage consumption and intoxication as well as charged with a misdemeanor. Before that, in 2017, she was taken into custody for allegedly coming home intoxicated and assaulting her grandmother along with two other family members, including her older sister. At the time, she was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
It was in 2013 when Skilyr Hicks made it to the audition round of America’s Got Talent’s Season 8 at the young age of 14. She impressed the judges– Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel– when she performed and played an original song on her guitar. The judges were further touched by the catalyst behind her passion– the death of her father a few years ago. She revealed that he was the reason she plays, writes, and sings as it was after his funeral she wrote her first song.
At the time, Skilyr Hicks was immensely praised by the judges, with Heidi Klum exclaiming how she “won all our hearts,” Howie Mandel announcing that she is “inspiring the nation right now,” and Mel B calling her voice “way more mature” than expected from her at that young age. But despite the praise and the fact that her performance received the green light from the four judges, Hicks never made it to America’s Got Talent Season 8’s live rounds. But even though she was sadly eliminated, her soulful performance will remain one of the most iconic moments of the reality show.