America’s Got Talent contestant Jay Jay Phillips has reportedly died from COVID-19 at age 30.
Phillips wrote on his Instagram account about his excitement performing with his band Mettal Maffia only seven weeks ago.
Jay Jay Phillips’ rock band issues statement on his death
The Instagram account of the rock musician’s band confirmed his death and issued a statement.
It read, “It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend @jayjayrocks. It still doesn’t feel real, and we would give anything to change it.”
“Please respect the family, as well as our wishes as we take our time to grieve and process this detrimental loss. We miss you brother, every second of every minute, of every day. Thank you for teaching us all to laugh a little more. Rock in Paradise 💚”
Phillips appeared twice on America’s Got Talent. The first time was on the fourth season in 2009, in which he was eliminated early.
He returned to Season 12 of the reality TV show in 2017, where he impressed the judges with his keyboard skills and made it to the quarterfinals.
Jay Jay Phillips dies of COVID-19, friend details events leading up to his death
A friend of Phillips, Seph Lawless, tweeted that the musician died from COVID-19 but told The Wrap he deleted the tweet due to anti-vaxxers spamming.
He revealed to the publication the events that led to the reality TV star’s death.
“His gf found him 5 days ago unresponsive in a fetal position died in his sleep. He was battling covid like so many quietly at home the only difference was his soul was larger than most and so we all knew he was struggling,” he continued.
“His father was recently hospitalized for covid as well. We are unsure how he is doing through all of this. JJ was only 30 and always seemed healthy to me decade [sic] I knew him, so this is a shock to most of us.”
TMZ, the first to report his death, wrote that his family urged him to seek medical attention, but he refused.
After performing a wellness check, his girlfriend and mother found him dead on Thanksgiving Day. The publication reports that he was unvaccinated but was planning to get the vaccine.
His father, who also has COVID-19, is reportedly on a ventilator.
Seph Lawless told The Wrap he believes JJ Phillips’s tragic death will encourage others to get the vaccine as many under the age of 30 feel they will not be hospitalized with the virus due to their youth or fall prey to disinformation online.
Jay Jay Phillips did not have children; he is survived by his mother, girlfriend, and father.More: America's Got Talent