NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – Nashville singer/songwriter Nolan Neal has died at the age of 41, less than two years after he reached the America’s Got Talent (AGT) quarter-final round. Born October 5, 1980, Neal was just three months shy of his 42nd birthday. He was found dead in his Nashville apartment by his roommate and his death was confirmed via his cousin, Dylan Seals who confirmed the news to TMZ. An official cause of death has not been announced.
Neal, a Nashville native – comes from a musical family, as both parents were musicians. The Focus reports that Neal didn’t get along with his father, who told him, “you will never make it in the industry” after his Hollywood Records deal had fallen through in 2006. Not long after, Neal’s father died by suicide, and guilt over his father’s death drove Neal to party and began abusing substances.
Neal was 39 when he auditioned for season 15 of AGT and had previously competed in season 11 of The Voice, where he was picked to be on Adam Levine‘s team, making it to the knockout round where he was eliminated. When he joined the reality show in 2020, they described his backstory as “heartbreaking”, recalling his “dark past” that led to problems with substance abuse and addiction. During an interview with WBIR in 2020, Neal openly admitted he was still struggling with addiction while a contestant on The Voice.
During his tenure at AGT, he wrote two original songs, “Send Me a Butterfly”, and “Lost”, which Neal said was the first thing he wrote after getting himself clean. The performance got a standing ovation from the crowd and all 4 judges. You can view that powerful performance below.
His last Facebook post was from three days ago where he shared that he was playing at the Hotel Indigo in Nashville on Sunday from 6 pm until 9 pm with free admission, but then in the comments box Neal said that the show was canceled by the manager with no reason why as he said, “Sorry guys.” He then added, “Y’all should call the Hotel and tell them you want to see me play there lol.”
CelebrityAccess’ Senior Director of Advertising and Photography, Laura Rode – posted in tribute to the fallen Nashville singer.
In addition, numerous others posted their thoughts on Neal and what he meant to them.
Neal had a brief stint as the lead singer of the rock band Hinder back in 2010. He tells WBIR, “I remember I got clean in 2010; May 15, went to rehab. Stayed clean. 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. I remember trying to be normal and fitting in. I remember going to a bar and ordering a drink. I was just lying to myself telling myself that I could control it.” He was soon replaced by the band’s current vocalist Marshal Dutton.
During his career, he released several albums, including 2006’s The Road to Now, 2013’s The Wire, and 2018’s NasviLa. He had also written for Saliva on the song “Unshatter Me” for the band’s album, Love, Lies & Therapy.