Riley was struggling with substance abuse issue and left the show after first battle round to enter the rehabilitation
Anthony Riley, a contestant of the 8th and most recent season of “The Voice”, died suspiciously at the age of 28.
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According to Philadelphia Inquirer, the contestant’s body was found on Friday in the basement of his apartment building in Philadelphia. The actual cause of the death has not been revealed et but some insider sources suggest that it might be a case of suicide.
Riley, who was a street performer, got a nod of approval from the all four judges, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams in the audition of The Voice season 8 after singing James Brown’s “I Got You (I feel Good).” He was coached by Pharrell Williams on The Voice.
After the first battle round in January, Anthony Riley had to leave the show to return Philadelphia and to enter the rehab as he was struggling with substance abuse issue.
“A t the time, (being on the show) was not working for me and I felt like I needed to go, instead of taking on more responsibility than I could handle,” Riley told Philadelphia Inquirer in March. He called The Voice a “really great source of support” but also said that he find it difficult to deal with the stress and the long hours of work as he had to spend 14 to 16 hours a day during his stay in competition. Riley expressed his desire of becoming a part of The Voice season 9 presumably when his stint at rehab gets over.
Friends and family told the paper on Saturday that Riley was working on his album after leaving the show but he could not overcome his drug addiction.
“He’d his problems recently. But at the heart of all that was a very kind, gentle person.” Robby Parsons, a fellow musician said in a statement.
NBC network, which is the broadcaster of singing competition, offered condolences to the family of the late singer. “We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time."
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Riley was named Philadelphia's best street Performer by Philadelphia Magazine in 2014.