Nashville-based singer-songwriter Nolan Neal has died. The 41-year-old former contestant on both The Voice and America’s Got Talent was found dead in his apartment on Monday (July 18).
Neal first came into the American spotlight during Season 11 of The Voice (2016), when he won a spot on Adam Levine’s team after auditioning with “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. The slowed-down version also earned a chair turn from Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, but he ultimately chose the rocker’s team.
He’d later be eliminated in the Knockout Round after winning the Battle Round with a version of “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel.
This audition on The Voice was actually Neal’s second for Levine and company after no one turned for him in Season 10.
Four years later, Nolan Neal would appear on Season 15 of America’s Got Talent, ultimately getting eliminated in the quarter-final round. An original song called “Lost” from the NBC show was perhaps his best moment. He said he wrote it after getting sober.
The Nashville native was a demo singer looking for a break during his two appearances on television. He was also open about his battles with drug abuse. During a 2020 interview with TV station WBIR, Neal shared that substance abuse troubles first started as the singer of the rock band Hinder. He kept drinking during his time on The Voice as well, but got sober soon after.
TMZ shares that police say there was a guitar pick next to the bed where his body was found. It “appeared to contain a powder residue.”
Songwriter Jeremy Bussey (Luke Bryan‘s ”Up”) took to Twitter to tribute his friend. His words also indicate that addiction may have played a role.
Neal’s most recent post on Instagram came on June 29. He’s singing a song with a curse word in it, when a woman and young child appear, causing him to laugh.
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May they rest in peace …