Friends, Celebs Mourn Anthony Riley’s Death — Singer Hanged Himself, Struggled With Addiction

In light of his death last Friday, a recent interview with Philadelphia street performer and The Voice contestant Anthony Riley is particularly haunting.

The city’s medical examiner confirmed that Riley, 28, hanged himself. His body was found in the basement of an apartment building, People reported.

“He’d had his problems recently. But at the heart of all that was a very kind, gentle person,” a fellow musician, Robby Parsons, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Anthony’s death follows an early exit from the competition show, even though he was an early frontrunner who wowed judges with his version of James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good).” The singer left to deal with substance abuse issues and was checked into rehab, the Huffington Post added.

He completed the program and confessed to being plagued by drug problems for two years.

Speaking to shortly afterward in late March, he said NBC paid for his treatment, but that appearing on The Voice had proved more stressful than he had imagined–Riley was working up to 16 hour days.

He talked with producers about his substance abuse, and was flown to a facility in Pennsylvania that night.

“They made sure we understood what we were getting ourselves into. It’s stressful; there are a lot of days that can turn into lonely days. I had a lot of time to think about myself. I recognized something was getting the best of me.”

The interview is especially tragic following the young man’s death, given that he passionately committed, after leaving the show, to devoting himself to “sobriety and mental and spiritual health.” Anthony was even planning on writing his first album, through which he wanted to share his story.

Riley’s sister, Halima Miley, told the Inquirer they will hold a public memorial.

“The city was his family. Everybody knew him, he couldn’t walk two steps without someone saying, ‘Anthony, how you doin’?’ The public loved him.”

For 10 years, he performed Motown and pop songs for tips outside Reading Terminal Market, Penn’s Landing, and Independence Hall. Riley was raised by his grandmother; his mom died when he was 19, and his father encouraged his son to sing.

Following his death, fellow contestants, fans, and celebrities took to social media to offer their condolences and remember the talented singer.

[Photo Courtesy Twitter]

Share this article: Friends, Celebs Mourn Anthony Riley’s Death — Singer Hanged Himself, Struggled With Addiction
More from Inquisitr