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Chris Daughtry Opens Up To Fellow American Idol Star Kelly Clarkson About Grief And ‘Guilt’ Following Deaths Of Mother And Stepdaughter In The Same Month

Chris Daughtry introduces his band's performance on MRC Presents: Live at Lou's.
(Image credit: Daughtry/YouTube)

Losing a parent can be one of the most difficult things a person faces in life, but add to that the loss of a child, and the pain is unfathomable. American Idol alum Chris Daughtry experienced this tragic scenario in November 2021, when both his mother and 25-year-old stepdaughter died just one week apart from each other. One can imagine this isn’t something you’d recover from quickly, and not surprisingly the singer said he still struggles with grief and guilt from both losses. 

Chris Daughtry, who placed fourth on American Idol Season 5, opened up to fellow Idol star Kelly Clarkson on her talk show, with the singing competition's first winner asking how Daughtry and his wife were doing after the deaths of two very important women in their lives. While losing his mother to cancer was a starkly different situation to losing stepdaughter Hannah Price to suicide, he found one heartbreaking commonality:

I think the hardest thing that I found — because I dealt with both very differently, processed both losses very differently — but I think the hardest thing, the common denominator in both, is the guilt. The 'I wish I would have said this. I wish I would've done this. I wish I would've called more. I wish I would have, um, all the things.’

Hannah Price’s death came exactly one week after Chris Daughtry’s mother died, and having to process two monumental losses in such different ways — not to mention dealing with rumors regarding his stepdaughter’s cause of death — is unthinkable. Daughtry said following his mother’s passing that he’d been able to say the things he needed to say to her, though it’s clear that he still sometimes wishes he’d done more while he was still able to. 

Unfortunately he never got to say goodbye to Hannah Price, and the “It’s Not Over” singer still feels the guilt in both situations. That, he said, has been the hardest part of moving on in the last seven months: 

Those moments of guilt are the hardest because you can't do anything about it. And there's always going to be reminders of what you could have done or whatever, and I tend to beat myself up a lot over it.

Chris Daughtry married Hannah Price’s mother Deanna in 2000, and the couple had twins in 2010. He said the family has been grieving for Hannah in a healthy way. Her siblings got to take part in the natural burial that she’d wanted, which the singer called a “heavy, magical” thing to watch them process, as well as healing for all of them. 

It was in 2006 that the singer found fame on American Idol. He didn’t win the competition like The Kelly Clarkson Show host, but rode his fourth-place finish to success anyway, going on to release six studio albums with his band Daughtry — the last one, Dearly Beloved, in September 2021. He was also the runner-up on The Masked Singer Season 2.

Our thoughts go out to Chris Daughtry and his family as they continue to heal from their tragic loss. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you can find resources on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 800-273-8255.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.