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America's Got Talent Contestant Skilyr Hicks Dead at 23

·2-min read

Former America's Got Talent contestant Skilyr Hicks has died. She was 23.

Skilyr's sister, Breelyn, confirmed the singer's death in a social media post on Wednesday.

"My super beautiful, extremely talented, hilarious, free spirit of a sister left this world to be with Jesus. I can't possibly put into words how broken-hearted I am," Breelyn wrote. "I will miss her like crazy. 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."

Breelyn added that Skilyr "had so much life left to live."

"Skilyr, I don't know how I'll be able to live without you. You were a light that shown brighter than ever. You were my best friend, you were my rock," Breelyn concluded. "We always had each other's back no matter what. Just know that I love you unconditionally, That you will live on in our hearts, minds, memories, and through your God Given Musical Ability. Your Songs are your legacy. Fly High, Little Bird."

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Skilyr was found dead at a home in Liberty, South Carolina on Monday night, the Pickens County Coroner's Office confirmed to PEOPLE. TMZ was first to report the news.

The Pickens County Sheriff's Office told the outlet that Skilyr died of a suspected overdose. A cause of death was not publicly available at the time of publication.

The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Skilyr Hicks
Skilyr Hicks

Bill Records/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Hicks was 14 years old when she first appeared on season eight of AGT and performed in front of Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Mel B. She sang an original song, titled "Second Chance."

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At the time, Hicks told the judges she began performing her music after the death of her father, who died years before she appeared on the show.

skilyr hicks
skilyr hicks

skilyr hicks/ instagram

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"After his funeral, I wrote my first song," Hicks said during her AGT audition. "That was a really difficult time for me. Music helped me let out all the emotion that was building up inside of me."

Skilyr's performance scored her four "Yes" responses from the judges and landed her in the next round of the show. She was eliminated from the show before the live rounds in New York City.

Following her time on AGT, Hicks was arrested in 2017 and charged with domestic violence. She was later arrested for underage drinking in 2018.

Skilyr is survived by her mother and her four siblings. Skilyr's mother, Jodi, told TMZ that the singer "will live on through her music."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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