Skilyr Hicks, 'America's Got Talent' contestant, dies at 23




Former "America's Got Talent" contestant Skilyr Hicks died Monday in Liberty, S.C. She was 23.

The singer-songwriter - who appeared on the eighth season of the hit reality competition show in 2013 when she was just 14 - was found lifeless in the home of a friend, her mother, Jodi, told TMZ.

The cause and circumstances of death are not immediately clear. Jodi said that the young musician had been battling mental health issues, including substance abuse and depression.

"She will live on through her music," her mother said.

The South Carolina native spent time in a Georgia jail in April 2017 for allegedly assaulting three family members while intoxicated, TMZ reported. In November 2018, she was arrested in Ohio for underage drinking.

Hicks auditioned for "America's Got Talent" performing her original song "Second Chance."

Even though she impressed all four judges at the time - Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern - she was eliminated before the live rounds in New York City.

In an interview that aired on the show in August 2013, Hicks said that she had lost her father a few years prior to her audition.

"He passed away and that was a really difficult time for me. Music helped me let out all the emotion that was building up inside of me," she said.

She added that she started playing after her father's death. "He made some bad decisions and I hadn't seen him in a few years. The last time I saw him I remember driving away and he was crying," she said.

Hicks leaves behind four siblings.

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