Simon Cowell reacted to the devastating death of Nolan Neal, weeks after the entertainer, who previously competed on “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent”, lost an ongoing battle with substance abuse.
“Unfortunately, it happens too much over the years,” Cowell told People. “I was thinking about this the other day. People [who] passed too soon. Every time it happens, because you’ve gotten to know them, it’s horrible. At that moment, it’s like, ‘What can I say?’”
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“The unfortunate thing is, it’s happened too many times and every time it happens, it’s hard,” he added, referencing the February death of fellow “AGT” contestant Nightbirde. “After the last three years, it’s been tough. And then, you think everything’s okay and then something hits you like a story like that and it’s hard.”
“But all I can say is, what I’ve learned from this, is that you just take every day as it is and you try and stay positive, you try and stay healthy,” he continued. “That’s it. I mean, I was talking about this to someone earlier on, you’re never prepared for these days.”
Neal died on July 18 at the age of 41.
His cousin, Dylan Seals, provided a few details about his passing, telling TMZ that the musician was found dead in his Nashville apartment. Cops say that they received a call from the performer’s roommate, who discovered his body in a bedroom.
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Officers also found a guitar pick that “appeared to contain a powder residue” on the desk next to Neal’s bed. They noted that the former TV contestant allegedly struggled with substance abuse.
In a 2020 interview with WBIR, Neal revealed that during his time on season 10 of “The Voice” he was still struggling with addiction. In 2016, he competed on Adam Levine’s team, making it to the knockout round before he was eliminated.
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“I kind of lost my way on ‘The Voice’ and continued drinking,” he said of his time competing on the show.
Neal also competed on season 15 of “AGT” making it all the way to the quarterfinals. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and all four judges during his 2020 audition with an original song called “Lost”, the first thing he wrote after getting clean.
Following the tragic news, a Nolan Neal fan page posted about his death, saying, “I can’t believe you’re gone from us”… “Heaven just got a new music director.”
Authorities have yet to determine the singer’s cause of death, however, Seals told People that he “ultimately succumbed to his battle with substance abuse.”