Inspiring ‘X Factor USA’ Singer Freddie Combs Dies at Age 49

Jill O'Rourke
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Freddie Combs, who wowed The X Factor USA with his beautiful voice in 2012, has sadly passed away at age 49. The minister from Tennessee shared his inspiring weight loss journey during his appearance on the show in its second season.

‘The X Factor’ Star Freddie Combs Dies at 49

Combs’ wife Kay told TMZ that her husband died last Friday in Florida of kidney failure. She shared that she knew he would pass away the day before it happened, saying, “I have so much gratitude to be his wife for 25 years and to be his best friend.”

She also expressed her pride over how hard Combs worked to lose weight, going from over 900 pounds to 385 pounds over the last decade. When he appeared on The X Factor in 2012, he was in a wheelchair. At the time, he had already lost almost 400 pounds.

Before his audition, Combs shared that he “almost died” in 2009 due to his weight. He described his wife Kay as “the closest thing to an angel and a saint that I know.” The couple appeared together on the 2010 TLC special Ton of Love.


Combs Moved the ‘X Factor’ Judges in 2012

When Combs auditioned for the second season of the American X Factor, the judges praised him for his weight loss. L.A. Reid called it “an amazing story, and an amazing accomplishment.”

Combs went on to perform “The Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler, dedicating it to his wife. The audience applauded him for his stunning performance before it was even over. Reid called his voice “heavenly,” while Demi Lovato told him, “I feel a lot of emotion behind what you’re singing.”

Simon Cowell, meanwhile, said he pictured Combs singing the song while standing, and told him, “I feel that if we’re going to go forward that we have to make a sort of deal with each other that we’re both going to work hard to sort this out. I’ll back you if you back yourself.”

Although he was eliminated not long after his audition, Combs’ story and talent made an impact. Our thoughts are with his family.

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