‘American Idol’ Alum Mourns Death of 19-Year-Old Sister

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2021 “American Idol” contestant Drake McCain Taylor announced on Facebook on May 31, 2022, that his sister, Madison Taylor, died on May 30, 2022.

In the post, Drake asked for prayers for his family.

“My beautiful baby sister,” he wrote. “Bubba misses you so much my heart can’t take it. Y’all please pray for our family right now and respect our privacy. GOD BLESS!”

The post contained a link to an article about Madison’s body being recovered.

Madison Taylor’s Body Was Discovered in a Lake

According to News Channel 9, Madison Taylor drowned and her body was recovered “just after midnight” on Tuesday, May 31. The article says that Madison “entered the water from a boat to swim and did not surface.”

According to the report, the search was taking place above a dam in Rhea County, Tennessee.

A GoFundMe has been started in the family’s honor.

“This account is to help the family of Madison (Madi) Taylor with burial expenses after her tragic passing on May 30th,” the description reads. “Any and all donations are appreciated! If you cannot donate money, please pray for the family and friends of this beautiful soul that was taken too soon.”

The GoFundMe has raised over $16,000 at the time of writing.

Watts Bar Lake, where Madison’s body was located, is located about 57 miles southwest of Knoxville, Tennesee.

Madison Was a Sports ‘Standout’

According to a tweet by Christopher Hall, who knew Madison, she was a sports standout.

“Please remember the Rhea County/Spring City community and particularly the family/friends of former Lady Eagle basketball, track& field, and volleyball standout Madison Taylor.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, emergency responders from multiple agencies were searching for Madison as of 6:30 p.m. They were searching above a dam in 40 to 50 feet of water, and her body was recovered after midnight, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Her brother shared a tribute to her on Instagram as well.

“My beautiful baby sister,” he wrote. “I have no words. Absolutely no words… I just want to hug you and kiss your precious face! I don’t know why GOD took you yet but I know you are in a better place smiling down on us. You inspired me and so many other people and overall had the best heart there ever was. We will never forget you, the memories, or that beautiful contagious smile. I love you so much, forever and always Bean. Until we meet again my precious baby sis!”

He shared photos of Madison throughout her life.

The Union College Athletics, Union Bulldogs, also shared a tribute to Madison on Instagram. The college is located in Barbourville, Kentucky.

“Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes. Madison Taylor was a sophomore at Union and a member of the women’s track and basketball teams,” the tribute reads. “We send our thoughts and prayers to her family; coaches, teammates, and friends; and the entire Bulldog community.”

Drake McCain Taylor nearly made it into the top 24 of “American Idol” season 19, though he was cut during Hollywood Week.

“American Idol” is set to return in early 2023. The three judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are all expected to return for the upcoming season, as is long-time host Ryan Seacrest.

READ NEXT: ‘Idol’ Finalist Feels Like ‘Biggest Winner’ After Top-3 Elimination

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