Simone Battle, former American ‘X Factor’ contestant and member of girl band G.R.L., has died at the age of 25, it has been confirmed.
Reports of the young star’s death began to circulate online on Saturday, after her friend and record producer Derek Butler posted a tribute to her on Instagram overnight.
A joint statement from Reign Deer Entertainment, Robin Antin, Kemosabe Records, and RCA Records confirming the sad news was then released on Saturday afternoon, which said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the loss of Simone Battle of G.R.L.
“Simone was an exceptional young talent and human being, and we are all devastated to learn of her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones at this time.”
Simone first became famous after making it through to the live shows of the first series of ‘The X Factor’ in America in 2011, where she was mentored by Simon Cowell.
She later received praise for her ‘Clueless’-inspired solo music video, ‘He Likes Boys’, which she posted online following her elimination from the competition.
A year later, she was chosen by the original founder of the Pussycat Dolls, Robin Antin, to join her new five-piece girl group G.R.L., alongside Lauren Bennett, Emmalyn Estrada, Natasha Slayton and Paula van Oppen.
The band released their first major release, ‘Ugly Heart’, in the UK last Sunday.