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The Voice And America's Got Talent Contestant Nolan Neal Is Dead At 41

Nolan Neal on America's Got Talent.
(Image credit: NBC)

The world has lost a talented voice and performer, as it’s been reported that Nolan Neal, who competed on both America’s Got Talent and The Voice, has died at the age of 41. 

The singer was pronounced dead on Monday, July 18, after medical examiners were dispatched to his house in Memphis, Tennessee. At this time, Nolan Neal's exact cause of death has not been disclosed.

Page Six reports that the singer, whose full name was Nolan Neal Seals, struggled with substance abuse and that he was discovered “deceased” by a roommate after his mother had expressed concern, according to a public information officer for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. The officer said: 

Mr. Seals was located in the bedroom of the downstairs apartment by the upstairs roommate. The roommate stated she discovered the victim after receiving a phone call from the victim’s mother who was concerned after not hearing from him.

The officer reported that near Nolan Neal, a black guitar pick was found on a desk that "appeared to contain a powder residue." The roommate said she had last seen Neal alive around 4 or 5 p.m. the previous day. An autopsy was ordered, but the results could take a minimum of eight weeks to come back, the coroner’s office told Page Six.

Nolan Neal appeared on Season 11 of The Voice on NBC, as a member of Adam Levine’s team in 2016. After trying out and not making it onto Season 10, Neal got a coveted Four-Chair Turn with his Blind Audition cover of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." He made it through the Battle Round, where he performed a duet of "Sledgehammer," but was eliminated in the Knockouts after singing "Love Is Your Name" by Steven Tyler.

Four years later, the singer appeared on Season 15 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, where he discussed his battles with addiction. He told the panel that he'd been clean since 2015, before performing his original song "Lost," which he said was inspired by his fight. When judge Simon Cowell asked him what the song meant to him, Nolan Neal said:

The hook of the song is, 'Lost for the last time.' It's about somebody who thinks that they don't deserve anything because of the things they've done. I hope it connects with you all. That'll be the real win for me.

Nolan Neal's passionate performance earned a standing ovation from the judges panel and live studio audience. While it seemed he might be a shoo-in for the finals as he vied for the $1 million prize, he was sent home in a shocking quarterfinals elimination, when the panel was forced to choose between Neal and drummer Malik Dope. In a split decision, the judges chose to advance Dope.

There's no doubt Nolan Neal touched viewers' lives through his story and his performances on those reality competition shows, and our condolences go out to his friends and family after the tragic loss.

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.