Anthony Riley, former contestant of the most recent season of The Voice, was found dead in the basement of his apartment building Friday, as reported by the Inquisitr. It was suspected that his death was a suicide; according to People, that news has been confirmed by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. Sadly, 28-year-old Anthony Riley took his own life by hanging himself.
Riley immediately made a name for himself on The Vioce by earning the fastest four-chair turn-around in the show’s history during his Blind Audition. However, the frontrunner suddenly left after winning his Battle Round for “personal reasons.” Riley later revealed his departure was due to a long-time struggle with substance abuse. Anthony returned home to Philadelphia, where he completed a rehab program.
As the news of his death spread, fellow Voice contestants and those who got to know him on the show expressed their sorrow on social media.
“We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time.”
We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) June 8, 2015
Meghan Linsey reached out on her Facebook page asking fans to keep Riley’s friends and family in their prayers.
This is absolutely heartbreaking. Please keep Anthony’s family and friends in your prayers. Such an incredible talent and gentle soul. My heart hurts.
Kimberly Nichole and Carson Daly also shared their shock and heartbreak.
“Omg! My heart just dropped #AnthonyRiley passed away. A fellow contestant on the voice – we all started on #TeamPharrell! My god… Such an incredibly talented man and kind. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
“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.”
Omg! My heart just dropped #AnthonyRiley passed away. A fellow contestant on the voice - we all started on #TeamPharrell ! My god... Such an incredibly talented man and kind. My heart goes out to his family and friends. https://www.yahoo.com/music/the-voice-contestant-anthony-riley-dead-at-28-120870637326.html
A mother whose son committed suicide thanked Daly for talking about Anthony Riley’s suicide because it helps open a dialogue about mental illness.
“Thank you for speaking up and talking about it. As a mother of a son who completed suicide, people pretend that it didn’t happen or won’t talk to you because they don’t want to hear about it. Mental illness needs to be talk about. God bless him and his family. One doesn’t know what goes through someones mind at that very deepest darkest moment.”
Anthony Riley’s family has not made arrangements known at this time, but his sister, Halima Miley, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that a memorial will be open to the public, saying, “the city was his family.”
[Image by Tyler Golden / NBC]