KEY POINTS

  • Skilyr Hicks was found dead at a friend's home in South Carolina
  • Authorities said she died of a suspected overdose
  • Hicks was arrested for underage drinking in 2018

“America’s Got Talent” contestant Skilyr Hicks has died at the age of 23. Her sister, Breelyn Hicks, confirmed the death in a social media post 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,” she 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.”

“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 shone brighter than ever. You were my best friend, you were my rock. 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,” she concluded her message.

Skilyr was found dead at a friend’s home in Liberty, South Carolina, on Monday. The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said she died of a suspected overdose.

Skilyr was 14 when she joined “America’s Got Talent” season 8 and performed her original composition, “Second Chance,” in front of Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Mel B. She told the judges at the time that she started her musical journey after the death of her father.

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

She earned four “Yes” responses from the judges at the time. She landed in the next round of the competition until she was eliminated before the live rounds in New York City.

Skilyr was arrested in 2017 and charged with domestic violence. She was also arrested for underage drinking one year later.

overdose More white, middle-age Americans are dying deaths of despair as economic opportunities dwindle and the social fabric frays. Photo: Creative Commons