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.
Sad to report Lil Chris from the Gene Simmons Rock School TV show, has passed on. He was loved. RIP, Lil Chris. pic.twitter.com/ODlHs1bX6y— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) March 24, 2015
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.”
Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Lil' Chris. He supported us a while back and was a little star and an awesome guy. #RIPChris— Harry Judd (@mcflyharry) March 24, 2015
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.
I'm planning to come back again! Hopefully this time for a little longer! Keep sticking around for updates.— Chris Hardman (@CJHardman) December 1, 2014
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.
Thinking about quitting music forever...there has to come a time eventually when I have to face reality. I'm just not good enough.— Chris Hardman (@CJHardman) March 3, 2015
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]