Very sad news. Anthony Riley, a Philly-based street performer who was a contestant on season 8 of “The Voice,” died on Tuesday (June 2) of an apparent suicide. He was 28-years-young.
During his blind audition, Anthony’s soulful rendition of James Brown’s “I Feel Good” had all four judges spinning their chairs in less than 10 seconds into his performance.
Pharrell Williams snagged Anthony for Team Pharrell, but the singer abruptly left the show after his first battle round. Anthony Riley told the producers he needed to enter rehab to deal with substance abuse issues. That night, producers flew Riley back home and he entered the Clarity Way rehab facility.
Anthony told Philly.com, “At the time, The Voice wasn’t working for me and I felt like I needed to go, instead of taking on more responsibility than I could handle. They made sure we understood we were getting ourselves into. It’s stressful; there are a lot of days that can turn into lonely days.”
Robby Parsons, a very close friend of Anthony, confirmed his passing to Yahoo! Music saying, “Anthony passed away Tuesday. He wasn’t found until yesterday [Friday]. His sister called me at 7:30 yesterday to tell me…I called the friend he’d been living with, Bobby Iovine, and Bobby was in tears. And he said, ‘Robby, it’s true.'”
Watch Anthony Riley’s amazing performance on page 2.