A contestant on “The Voice,” who had all four judges turning their chairs to face him within seconds of starting his audition, has been found dead, CNN reports.
According to the story, “Anthony Riley, a contestant from the most recent season of ‘The Voice’ has died at 28, NBC confirmed Sunday (June 7, 2015).
A report in the Philadelphia Inquirer said, “Mr. Riley took his life, and was found Friday [June 5, 2015] in the basement of the Center City [in Philadelphia] apartment where he was staying, said Tootsie Iovine. Iovine and her brothers both own shops in Reading Terminal, and had been ‘like family’ to Mr. Riley.”
The Inquirer added, “Mr. Riley was a fan favorite on ‘The Voice,’ and was being coached by Pharrell Williams. After winning his first battle round, he told producers he was struggling with substance abuse and returned to Philadelphia to enter rehab. In March, after his departure was revealed on the show, he told The Inquirer, ‘it’s tough, because everyone’s just finding out and I’ve been moving forward.’ By then, he said, he had completed the rehabilitation program and was working on an album.”
According to CNN, NBC said, in a statement, “We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time.”
Here’s Riley’s audition on “The Voice,” with all four judges giving him a standing ovation. The song is James Brown’s classic “I Got You (I Feel Good).” In a little over three months, this video has been viewed more than 4 million times.