Advisory content: This article describes death by violence, substance abuse, and suicide. Be careful when reading.
Any television show that has been on the air for a long time will be subject to the ravages of time. People die and that’s just life, but The voice it has a more tragic history than most. Since its inception in 2011, the show has lost quite a few performers, which is quite a revelation given that it is a very realistic singing show.
For the uninitiated, The voice It is a competition show where singers fight to be chosen by a judge to be mentored during the season. Coaches have included various celebrities over the years, such as Christina Aguilera, Adam LevineGwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Camila Cabelloand many others.
The contestants start in the “Blind Audition” part of the show, where the judges are in front of the audience. While singing, judges can press a button and turn their chairs around to indicate that they want the artist in their team. If only one turn is made, the singer defaults to that judge. If there is more than one turn, the singer gets to choose.
In later seasons, producers introduced things like blocks and steals so that the judges could play against each other if they wanted a particular artist. There are other rules too, but that’s the gist of it. Let’s look at some of the tragic deaths of The voice contestants after leaving the show.
Beverly McClellan From Season 1 – Died at 49 Years Old
July 6, 1969 – October 20, 2018
Soulful, unique and charming, Beverly McClellan almost won the whole show with her voice of power. Aguilera and Levine turned their chairs around during her blind audition for “Piece of My Heart,” but she ended up choosing Aguilera and riding that wave all the way to third place.
In March 2018, she revealed a diagnosis of endometrial cancer that had metastasized. Born in Kingsport, Tennessee, she banded in south Florida for years before her big TV break on the show.
By the time she made it on the The voice, she had already released five independent albums on her own label. She also had some other notable accolades: she was the 2004 NY National Music “Best Overall Performer,” and after appearing on the show, she toured with guitar superstar Steve Vai.
Christina Grimmie From Season 6 – Died at 22 Years Old
March 12, 1994 – June 10, 2016
This is one of the most tragic stories of a young star whose power was snuffed out too soon – not only in the world of music, but in any world. Grimmie delighted the judges and Levine, Usher, and Shakira turned their chairs around in the first few minutes, with Shelton following shortly after (she eventually chose Levine). Like McClellan, she finished third.
Grimmie has been a YouTube star since he was young, and his stint on the show only increased his following. She was known for offering an unfiltered and unfiltered view to her fans, and that hurt her in the long run.
In 2016, she was in the middle of a concert tour and stopped for a show in Orlando, Florida. During a meet and greet, James Loibl, 27 years old, showed up with two guns and a knife. he lying on his own that the two of them were meant to be together and while she was signing autographs, he shot her four times.
Grimmie’s brother Marcus tackled him, but Loibl managed to take the gun and turn it on himself. Grimmie lost her life before she reached her prime, and it’s one of those tragic moments that shows how difficult it is to be in the public eye.
Anthony Riley From Season 8 – died at 28
January 21, 1987 – June, 5 2015
Anthony Riley holds the distinction of being the fastest four-chair spinner ever Voice ever competitor. He sang “I Feel Good,” and all the chairs were turned in seconds. He had buckets of talent and potential, but also demons.
Riley cut his teeth as a street performer in Philadelphia for nearly ten years, scraping together a very meager living doing so. However, his talent was unrecognizable and eventually he chose Pharrell to mentor him.
Unfortunately, he left the show after winning his first battle, which was attributed to personal issues. Later, he went public about it constant struggles with substance abuse, and revealed that he went to rehab after leaving the show.
He told the media, “At the time, [The Voice] It wasn’t working for me and I felt I had to go, instead of taking on more responsibility than I could handle.”
On June 5, 2015, Riley hanged himself in his apartment. Before doing so, he took off his shoes and placed them neatly in a corner.
Nolan Neal from Season 10 – died at 41
October 6, 1980 – July 18, 2022
Nolan Neal was another one of those monster talents who impressed all four judges during his blind audition on season 10 of the show. Neal wasn’t just a competitor The voice, either. He also competed on season 15 of it America’s Got Talent.
His death was ruled an accident due to “acute combined drug toxicity”. The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office found a combination of morphine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and fentanyl acetyl in his system.
Nolan has been fairly open about his struggles with addiction. Here’s what he told WBIR in 2020:
“I remember I got clean in 2010; May 15, went to Rehab. Stayed clean. I joined the rock band Hinder, they were all about drinking and partying. This is not their fault. I had decided that I wanted to drink like a normal person. I remember wanting to be normal and fit in. I remember going to a bar and ordering a drink. I tried to hide it. I remember pretending it was normal. I was just lying to myself telling myself I could control it.”
He would also often talk about recovery and how he was doing his best to live according to God’s will. He is survived by his wife Stephanie and two children, Caylin and Cadence.
Janice Freeman from season 13 – dead at 33
June 9, 1985 – March 2, 2019
Janice Freeman got the attention of Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson during her blind audition for “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. She chose to join Team Miley, and rode that wave to the top 11 on the show.
She died from a very bad case of pneumonia and a blood clot that reached her heart. After complaining of shortness of breath, she died and her husband performed CPR on her until emergency workers arrived. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. The official cause of death was ruled a pulmonary embolism.
Freeman He was a fighter; she survived lupus, meningitis and cervical cancer, all of which she overcame.
“Her immune system continued to be depressed, and even common colds threatened more serious consequences,” her family said in a statement. “Throughout life, Janice remained bright and optimistic, relying on her strong faith and strong will to survive while maintaining an active performance schedule.”
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