Anthony Riley made a strong impression when he auditioned for Season 8 of The Voice. His talent was undeniable. Sadly, the 28-year-old performer passed away last week. The cause of death was determined to be suicide.
Riley inspired the fastest four-chair turn in the history of the singing competition. But Riley was hiding a devastating secret, one that forced his early exit from The Voice. Many fans of Anthony were both puzzled and disappointed; he seemed an obvious front-runner, one with an outstanding chance of winning the season.
— TIME.com (@TIME) June 8, 2015
It was later explained that Anthony Riley struggled with drug addiction. He quit the show to enter rehab and receive treatment. According to Gossip Cop, NBC helped Anthony get into a drug treatment program; the network also paid for his rehabilitation. The Washington Post reports that Riley completed his rehabilitation by March; it was at this point revealed that Anthony was no longer competing on the show.
Riley, who was working on his album when approached by the media, gave his reason for leaving the Voice competition.
“For me it’s tough, because everyone’s just finding out [about me leaving the show], and I’ve been moving forward…The Voice has been a really great source of support.
At the time, [being on the show] wasn’t working for me, and I felt like I needed to go, instead of taking on more responsibility than I could handle.”
Before his time on The Voice, Anthony Riley had auditioned for American Idol. Prior to seeking additional fame through televised singing competitions, Anthony was a fixture on the streets of Philadelphia. The talented man was a street performer for nearly ten years; he was named city’s very best street performer in 2014.
Anthony Riley died at his Philadelphia home from an apparent suicide last Tuesday. His body wasn’t found until Friday.
— HuffPost UK Ent (@HuffPostUKEnt) June 8, 2015
Thus far, Carson Daly is the only celebrity attached to The Voice to make his sentiments known about the loss of Riley. He posted a picture of himself with the singer and expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss.
“Praying for the family and friends of Anthony Riley today. It’s a heartbreaking loss. He was incredibly talented and loved to sing. God Bless him.”
NBC has also released a statement.
“We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time.”
It is always sad when an individual with as much promise as Anthony Riley dies. He will no doubt be sorely missed.
[Image Credit: The Voice YouTube]