In heartbreaking news, keyboard rocker Jay Jay Phillips of America’s Got Talent fame has passed away due to complications related to COVID-19.
According to TMZ, a relative of Phillips claimed Jay Jay was dealing with symptoms in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. He was communicating with friends and family via phone throughout the week. When his condition worsened, they urged him to check into a hospital.
Jay Jay Phillips insisted that all he needed was sleep. But no one heard back from him after the 24th. When his girlfriend and her mom went to check in with him on Thanksgiving, they found him dead. According to his relative, Phillips was not vaccinated but had plans to do so before he showed symptoms.
Jay Jay lived with his dad, who is currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
His band took to Instagram to announce his death and offer some words of remembrance.
“It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend. 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,” the statement continued.
Jay Jay Phillips on ‘America’s Got Talent’
Fans of America’s Got Talent likely remember Phillips from his Season 12 run that saw him cut just short of the quarterfinals. The 30-year old appeared on the show back in 2009 for Season 4 but didn’t make it as far into the competition.
After one of his performances, the show did a short digital exclusive with the musician.
“I’m a rock and roll keyboardist, and I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, home of rock and roll, baby,” said Phillips. “I’m feeling a lot of mixed emotions right now, honestly. It’s crazy.”
You can watch him absolutely shred his keyboard in the clip below. The soloist clearly had no problem getting the crowd going. One can see how his combination of style and talent took him deep into the competition.
According to The Sun, Jay Jay Phillips had been in bands from a young age. He performed with his high school group Hysteria as a keyboardist. They competed in competitions such as the Tri-C High School Rock Off, an annual Cleveland event.
More recently, Jay Jay appeared to be playing with the Youngstown, Ohio-based trap metal band Mettal Mafia. They have a presence across social media and YouTube, where you can watch Jay Jay Phillips play.