A former reality TV star was found dead Monday in what police are calling a “possible drug overdose.”
Former America’s Got Talent contestant Skilyr Hicks died at her South Carolina home at the young age of 23, Fox News reported.
According to NBC News, police are continuing their investigation, but a police report suggested overdose was the likely cause of death.
“I will miss her like crazy”
Hicks appeared on one season of the NBC reality show, where she impressed the judges with her singing and her story but was eliminated before the live rounds. She was just 14 when the show was filmed back in 2013.
According to NBC News, Hicks began making music after her father’s death. It was “a really difficult time,” she once said. “Music helped me let out all the emotion that was building up inside of me.”
Hicks’ mother reportedly told TMZ that her daughter will “live on through her music.” Hicks’ mother also said the singer had struggled with drug addiction and depression for years.
In a Facebook post, the singer’s sister also paid tribute. “Monday night December 6th, 2021 will be a day I’ll never be able to forget,” Breelyn Hicks wrote, according to Fox News. “My super beautiful, extremely talented, hilarious, free spirit of a sister left this world to be with Jesus.”
Breelyn Hicks went on: “I can’t possibly put into words how broken-hearted I am. I will miss her like crazy. I’ll miss her voice, her long warm hugs, her constantly making jokes using puns.”
Drug deaths have skyrocketed
Fox News reported last month that drug overdose deaths have reached “a record” level amid the pandemic, with more than 100,000 Americans losing their lives over a 12-month period ending last April.
This represents a massive 29% increase over the year prior, Fox said.
What’s more, Robert Anderson, who serves as chief of the mortality statistics branch at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, told Fox that the data is “telling us that 2021 looks like it will be worse than 2020.”
According to reports, many of those fatalities have been linked to the drug fentanyl, a potent and deadly opioid that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is often trafficked to the U.S. from places like China and Mexico.