Musician Nolan Neal, best known for his time as a contestant on both America’s Got Talent and The Voice, has died.
Though the exact cause of Neal’s death has not been made public, the singer’s cousin, Dylan Seals, told People magazine that Neal “ultimately succumbed to his battle with substance abuse.” He was 41.
According to TMZ, which first reported the singer’s death, the local medical examiner’s office confirmed the musician died on Monday in his Nashville apartment. Neal’s body was found by his roommate, the outlet claimed.
Authorities allege there was a guitar pick that “appeared to contain a powder residue” and a note detailing Neal’s substance abuse issues on his desk in the bedroom where he was found, TMZ reported.
Neal’s cousin told People the musician was “one of the most talented people” currently in the entertainment industry.
“Working with him in the studio was awe-inspiring. The speed at which he could write arrange and record the basics of a track was legendary. He was pure creative energy,” Seals, an audio engineer, told People.
In 2020, Neal spoke publicly about his substance abuse, telling NBC affiliate news outlet WBIR that he went to rehab in 2010.
He said his return to music after treatment, namely as a part of the rock band Hinder, jeopardized his sobriety.
“I remember going to a bar and ordering a drink,” he told the news outlet. “I tried to hide it. I remember pretending to be normal. I was just lying to myself telling myself that I could control it.”
He also told WBIR that he struggled with substance abuse issues while he was on The Voice.
Neal was a contestant on season 15 of The Voice, which aired in 2016. He auditioned with a rendition of Drive by Incubus, which earned him a spot on Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s team. He was eventually eliminated from the competition.
He later auditioned for America’s Got Talent in 2020. He performed an original song at his audition, entitled Lost. Neal claimed it was the first song he’d written after getting sober. He was eliminated from the show in the quarterfinals round.
Neal was the father of two children.