Lil' Chris, a singer-actor who rose to prominence at age 15 on the British reality show “Rock School,” died Monday in Lowestoft, England, the BBC reported. He was 24. The star, whose real name was Christopher James Hardman, had a hit with his debut single, “Checkin’ It Out,” in 2006.
The cause of death is currently unknown but Suffolk police told the BBC it’s not “suspicious.” "Officers received a call on Monday 23rd March at about 11:45 a.m. following the death of a 24-year-old man. A postmortem examination is to take place in due course and an inquest will be opened,” the police said in a statement to the Mirror.
On “Rock School,” Lil' Chris was among a group of schoolchildren being trained by Gene Simmons of Kiss to become a rock band. After his stint on the show, the teen signed a record deal with RCA. His first single rose to No. 3 on the U.K. singles chart.
Lil’ Chris was in the middle of planning a musical comeback, the Daily Mail reported. But a recent tweet from the young star revealed something different. "Thinking about quitting music forever ... there has to come a time eventually when I have to face reality. I'm just not good enough,” he wrote March 3.
Lil’ Chris suffered from depression, something he was open about. "I hope to one day create a way out of depression that doesn't mean taking your own life,” he said, according to the Mirror. "Depression really sucks. Learning how to notice it can save lives and your own feelings at times. Take time to understand it, for everybody."
Tributes to the performer have poured in on the Internet. In addition to Simmons, celebrities like Harry Judd, Dynamo and Amelia Lily sent condolences via Twitter.
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