8 Tragic Deaths of Our Favorite Talent Show Stars That Will Give You Chills

Corey Cesare
Mriganka Chawla
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It’s always sad to hear about fan favorite talent show contestants passing away. No matter if their death was via suicide, accidents or downright murder, each story is truly soul crushing. Here’s a list of talent show competitors that passed away too soon.


It’s no secret that talented people flock to competition series like American Idol, The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent, and more. After repeatedly performing on live television, contestants begin to get a loyal fanbase by their side. Whether you’re a loyal fan of these singers or never heard of them before, here are their tragic stories.

1. Christina Grimmie

One of the most tragic competition show star deaths to date is The Voice‘s Christina Grimmie. She competed on season six of The Voice on Team Adam and was a clear fan favorite until the very end. She finished the season out in third place and continued to make music following the series. On June 10th, 2016 Grimmie was shot to death while meeting fans after a concert in Florida. The killer took his own life shortly after taking hers.

2. Jane Marczewski Also Known As Nightbirde

It truly hurts to have this uplifting singer’s name on this list. This AGT Golden Buzzer recipient shared that she had cancer in her spine, lungs, and liver ahead of her audition and ultimately left the competition to focus on her health. Her original song stunned the audience and made her a frontrunner in the competition. Nightbirde passed away on February 19, 2022 after a four-year battle with cancer.


3. Anthony Riley

This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania street performer turned the chairs of all four coaches on The Voice. He was a frontrunner in the competition until he voluntarily withdrew to join a two week rehab program. The 28 year old was found dead in his apartment from apparent suicide in June 2015. His body wasn’t discovered until people complained about the smell in the basement of the apartment complex.

4. Jack Saunders

Jack made it through to the semi-finals this year on Britain’s Got Talent as member of the dance group Green Force Five. The 25 year old dancer had previously appeared on the X-Factor and Sky One’s Got to Dance. He even held the honor of being youngest paid dancer to perform at the London Olympics. Tragically, Jack took his own life on the morning of Sunday March 17th, 2019. His mother later revealed that she had no idea he was struggling with mental health issues. Green Force Five withdrew from the show out of respect for Jack.

5. Dr. Brandon Rogers

Dr. Brandon Rogers was a 29 year old doctor in the first year of his residency. He took the stage with his incredible voice that had previously gone viral in a video of him singing a Boys to Men song in scrubs. Brandon auditioned for AGT in 2017 and was set to continue in the competition with his amazing voice. Unfortunately, he was unable to compete in the next round because he died in a car crash on June 10, 2017. He was in the passenger seat on the way to a family event when his friend fell asleep at the wheel. Brandon died in the hospital the following day. His family chose to still air his audition in honor of his memory.


6. Janice Freeman

This singer stunned on The Voice at 33 years old in 2017. She made it all the way to the Top 11 on Team Miley with her deep soulful voice. Prior to the series, she had battled with other illnesses including lupus and cervical cancer. She passed away on March 3, 2019 due to a blood clot that had travelled to her heart. At the time, Janice was battling an extreme case of pneumonia. Miley Cyrus performed an emotional “Amazing Grace” while failing to hold back tears at Janice’s funeral.

7. Ara Starblaze Also Known As Amy Burdett

Whether you know her as Ariel Burdett, Ara Starblaze, Arabella Starchild or Amy Burdett, you probably remember her 2008 X Factor audition. She took the stage and Simon Cowell slammed her, stating that she was an utter and complete nightmare after singing her original song.

Years later, Burdett took her own life at 38 years old. At the time of her death she had been struggling with schizophrenia. Her landlord found her tragically dead with an incision in her neck and drug toxicity in her veins. A police spokesperson confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.

8. Beverly McClellan

This singer was third place winner on season one on The Voice. The judges were mesmerized by her talent and she plowed all the way to the top 4 on Team Christina. Prior to The Voice, Beverly had won best overall performer at the New York National Music Festival in 2004. In March of 2018 she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, and in October she passed away at 49.

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