Nolan Neal, a contestant on “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” was found dead by his cousin on Monday, July 18, 2022 in their Nashville apartment. He was 41 years old.
According to Entertainment Weekly, who is from Tennessee, “appeared in season 11 of The Voice in 2016, where he competed on team Adam Levine before being eliminated in the knockout round. He also competed in season 15 of AGT in 2020 and reached the quarterfinals of the jury’s decision before being eliminated.”
Neal was known for being open about his struggles with addiction. No cause of death has been reported at this time. However, TMZ reports that in the bedroom where the body was found was “a guitar pick which ‘apparently contained a residue of powder'”.
WATCH Neal’s Blind Audition
Neal performed Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” for his blind audition, which earned him a four-chair turn from coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys. After he finished singing, Levine stood up and said, “Come home. Just come over to me.”
Neal then confessed that he auditioned the previous season and was not given a chair to rotate. However, Neal said Levine told him to come back next season and pick a different song, choose Adam as his coach and they would win the show.
After a long, drawn-out battle between the four coaches, who all seemed keen to have Neal on their team, the Tennessee crooner decided to trust Levine’s original offer and went with him.
A YouTube commenter wrote, “He auditioned last season, didn’t make it past the blind auditions because nobody pressed his button because it wasn’t the right song. He took that to heart, and look what happened here! You go, Nolan!” Another commented, “He is absolutely incredible. Chills everywhere. Nice”
WATCH Neal’s performance in the combat round
During the fighting rounds, Neal covered Peter Gabriel’s quirky song “Sledgehammer” in which he competed and won against fellow competitor Johnny Rez. In the fight rounds, two performers sing a song chosen by their trainer together on a large boxing ring-like stage, and their trainer decides which one stays and which one goes.
WATCH Neal’s knockout performance
In the knockout round, Neal sang Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s song “Love Is Your Name” and lost to Brendan Fletcher. The KO rounds are similar to the Battle rounds in that two artists on a team compete to get their coach’s vote. However, in this round they choose their own songs and sing them separately.
Fans were surprised Neal was eliminated but not totally shocked. A fan wrote on YouTube, “Not perfect, but great performance. Unfortunately he had to deal with the dark horse Brendan who did perfectly.” Another commenter criticized Neal’s performance, saying, “Barely seems higher than Steven Tyler and that’s a big mistake.”
WATCH Neal sing his original song on AGT
Neal also attended America’s Got Talent in 2020 where he spoke about his father’s suicide and his own personal struggle to stay clean and sober. He won audiences and judges with his original song “Lost,” which described some of the emotions he felt during his harrowing experiences.
The haunting chorus reads, “I’m awake now/But I don’t know how I’m alive/I deserve to be buried under a blacker sky/Do I dream of my grave/Or have I fallen so far away/This today I have found/lost myself.”
Heavy will provide updates on Neal’s cause of death as soon as it is known.
CONTINUE READING: 4 ‘Voice’ contestants who died young and tragic
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