Skilyr Hicks, ‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant in 2013, dead at 23

LIBERTY, S.C. — Skilyr Hicks, a singer who excelled during the eighth season of “America’s Got Talent” in 2013, died Monday in Liberty, South Carolina, her family said. She was 23.

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Hicks, a singer-songwriter and guitarist who competed in the NBC competition series, was found dead in a friend’s home, Entertainment Weekly reported. The Pickens County Coroner’s Office also confirmed Hicks’ death to the website and said it was investigating the case. No official cause of death has been given.

Hicks’ older sister, Breelyn Hicks, 25, confirmed her sibling’s death in a Facebook post.

“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,” wrote Breelyn on Facebook. “She had so much life left to live.”

Skilyr Hicks’ death was also reported by TMZ, who quoted her mother, Jodi Simak Cronk.

Skilyr Hicks was 14, and from North Augusta, South Carolina, when she appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” performing an original song titled “Second Chance.”

She explained during her audition that she took up music after her father’s death.

“That was a really difficult time for me,” Skilyr Hicks said. “Music helped me let out all the emotion that was building up inside of me.”

In May 2021, Skilyr Hicks’ family announced on Facebook that her 29-year-old boyfriend of nearly two years had been killed in a car accident, E! Online reported.