Hicks’ body was found at a friend’s home in Liberty, South Carolina, on Monday, the outlet reported. Chief Deputy Chad Brooks of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said a drug overdose was suspected as the cause, although the county coroner told HuffPost that an investigation into Hicks’ death is ongoing.
“She will live on through her music,” Hicks’ mother, Jodi, said.
The former contestant had experienced substance abuse and mental health issues, her mother said.
In 2013, an initially flustered Hicks gave a performance on “AGT” with an original song dedicated to her deceased father, who she said “made bad decisions.” “It’s a message that came too late for my dad, but I know if he could see me now, he’d be really proud of me,” she said.
Her act won the approval of all four judges, including Howard Stern, who said, “I think America will fall in love with you.” Hicks’ performance went viral online. But she was eliminated from the talent competition soon after her appearance.
Hicks last posted a clip of her singing on an Instagram account in 2019.
Over the years, the singer-songwriter had a few run-ins with the law. In 2017, she was arrested for assaulting three family members while intoxicated, according to reports. She did some jail time. The following year, she was arrested for underage drinking.
She is survived by her mother and four siblings.
Around Thanksgiving, another former “AGT” entrant, Jay Jay Phillips, died after contracting COVID-19. He was 30.
Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.