Jay Jay Phillips, a musician who appeared on two seasons of the NBC talent competition, has died, his band Mettal Maffia confirmed. He was 30.
“It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend @jayjayrocks,” read a statement shared on the band’s Instagram page on Tuesday, Nov. 30. “It still doesn’t feel real and we would give anything to change it.”
The rock group added, “Please respect the family, as well as our wishes as we take our time to grieve and process this detrimental loss.”
A member of Phillips’ family told TMZ that the keyboardist had been sick with COVID-19 and was found dead at his home on Thanksgiving Day when his girlfriend and her mother went to check up on him.
A native of Ohio, Phillips made his first appearance on America’s Got Talent during its fourth season in 2009. He was eliminated from the competition after auditioning in front of Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff, in which he played an original song.
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