In 2014, former X Factor contestant Simone Battle died by suicide. She had been part of a girl group called G.R.L. since 2012. After her death, the group decided to disband.
Before splitting up, G.R.L. released a song paying tribute to Simone. Read on to find out more about the 25-year-old singer, and how her band mates responded to her tragic death.
‘X Factor’ Contestant Simone Battle Dies By Suicide
Simone Battle auditioned for The X Factor in the U.S. in 2011. She ended up being mentored by judge Simon Cowell and made it to the Top 17. After competing on the show, Simone starred in the 2012 film We the Party. Later that year, she joined the group G.R.L.
The group started as a line-up of new women to replace the departing members of the Pussycat Dolls. They later rebranded as the new group G.R.L. They released their self-titled album in 2014, and had a song called “Vacation” for the movie Smurfs 2.
On September 5, 2014, Simone Battle was found dead at 25 years old, with the cause of death ruled as suicide by hanging. Simone’s spokesperson said she had suffered from depression.
“Words cannot express the depth of our loss,” G.R.L. posted on Twitter after Simone’s death. “Simone’s incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart.” X Factor judge Simon Cowell tweeted that he was “so sad” to hear of Simone’s death, writing, “She was such a fun nice person. It’s such a loss.”
Girl Group G.R.L. Splits Up After Simone’s Death
In 2015, G.R.L. released their first single since Simone’s death, called “Lighthouse.” The song’s music video featured footage and photographs of Simone throughout her life. They also started a campaign with Give an Hour to raise awareness of mental health issues.
The group also joined Meghan Trainor for the Australian leg of her tour in April of 2015. In June, they announced they would be splitting up. “Following the tragic death of band member Simone Battle, girl group G.R.L. announces today that they are disbanding,” Kemosabe Records said in a statement. “We wish them continued success in each of their next creative endeavours.”
Band member Natasha Slayton tweeted that if it were up to her, the band would stay together. One year later, they reformed, with Natasha, Lauren Bennett, and new member Jazzy Mejia. They headlined Nickelodeon Slimefest in Australia in 2016, and released singles “Kiss Myself” and “Are We Good.”