On Monday, Nolan Neal, a talented musician and contestant on both The Voice and America’s Got Talent, died at the young age of 41. His cousin, Dylan Seals, confirmed the devastating news, reporting that Nolan was found dead in his apartment in Nashville.
Sadly, his death followed a lengthy battle with substance abuse, and new reports from police suggest that his struggles with addiction could have contributed to the unexpected tragedy.
According to TMZ, Neal’s roommate contacted police after discovering his body in a bedroom of their home. Officers on the scene reported a guitar pick near the body that “appeared to contain a powder residue”. However, investigators are still awaiting the full report from the autopsy.
Nolan Neal’s cousin, Dylan Seals, claims the musician lived with him for four months prior to the pandemic, during which time he was sober and working on new music. Before this time, however, Nolan’s road to fame was a winding one.
Not only did he lose his father to suicide at a young age but Nolan struggled with addiction for years, even during his time on The Voice. “I kind of lost my way on the voice and continued drinking,” Nolan explained to WBIR News in a 2020 interview. “You can see it. I can see it.”
Nolan Neal Once Admitted That Fame Negatively Affected His Sobriety
For aspiring professional musician Nolan Neal, earning a place with a band as popular as Hinder was in the 2000s was a huge accomplishment. Though he worked with major bands like Saliva and Shine Down in the past, becoming the lead singer of a multi-platinum group is a much larger step forward.
Unfortunately, however, the promising career move came at a price. “I remember I got clean in 2010; May 15, went to rehab. Stayed clean,” Nolan Neal said. “I joined the rock band Hinder, they were all about drinking and partying. This is not their fault. I had decided I wanted to drink like a normal person.”
Like many who battle substance abuse, Nolan Neal thought he could imbibe in moderation, but he was mistaken. “I remember trying to be normal and fitting in,” he said. “I remember going to a bar and ordering a drink. I tried to hide it. I remember pretending to be normal, I was just lying to myself telling myself that I could control it.”
It took years and multiple stays in rehab facilities, but Nolan Neal eventually got clean. In the 2020 interview, he explained that he had finally “found happiness,” making his subsequent death all the more heartbreaking.
“What’s different this time? I found happiness by helping others in recovery,” he said. “I found a way to be happy without the things I thought made me happy before.”