Tributes are pouring in today for Rock School graduate Lil’ Chris, who has been found dead in his hometown of Lowestoft. The singer and TV personality, who’s real name is Chris Hardman, found fame in the reality TV show Rock School, which was hosted by Kiss frontman, Gene Simmons. According to the Mail, police have said that Lil’ Chris’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
Chris Hardman found fame as Lil’ Chris in the 2006 season of Rock School, a channel 4 reality TV show that saw Gene Simmons take classically trained singers and form them into a rock band. According to the Daily Record, Lil’ Chris signed a contract with major record label RCA and his debut single “Checkin’ It Out” went to No. 3 in the UK singles chart. He was just 15-years-old at the time.
Gene Simmons was one of the first to comment on Lil’ Chris passing. The Kiss star and Rock School host tweeted that he was “sad to report Lil’ Chris had passed on. He was loved. RIP Lil Chris.
Caroline Flack, herself a reality TV star, and one time lover of One Direction’s Harry Styles, tweeted that Lil’ Chris was “a regular guest on [CBBC show] TMi Friday. Always always such a polite lovely guy. That’s so sad.”
McBusted drummer, Harry Judd, tweeted that he was “saddened” by Lil’ Chris’s death, and said that Chris had supported the band a while back. Judd described Lil’ Chris as “a little star and an awesome guy.”
Chris had recently performed in the stage musical Loserville, but his music career had taken a dip the last Lil’ Chris single, “Christmas Number One”, was released in December 2013, but back in December 2014 he announced that he was planning a comeback. Lil’ Chris was due to release a comeback album in just four months, his first one since 2008’s What’s It All About.
The Daily Mail reports that Lil’ Chris had been battling depression for some time, and earlier this month some of his twitter messages indicated that he was lacking confidence in his own ability, and that he was considering quitting music for good.
Lil’ Chris’s former manager, Allan Dodgeon, said he was in “complete shock” after leaning of Lil’ Chris’s death. He said Chris “was an outstanding talent and it was a pleasure to work with him. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Lil’ Chris has previously spoken publicly about his depression saying that “I hope to one day create a way out of depression that doesn’t mean taking your own life.” Sadly, it seems that he never found that cure.
[Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]