‘The Voice’ Contestant Who Died Left Heartbreaking Final Posts


“The Voice” season 11 contestant Nolan Neal died at the age of 41 on July 19 in Nashville, which was first reported by TMZ. There is no word yet as to the cause of death. But in light of Neal’s death, his last few Instagram and TikTok posts are particularly poignant and heartbreaking.

Here’s what Neal said and wrote in his final posts:

Neal Wonders if ‘Pain is a Gift’ in His Latest Song

On TikTok, Neal posted a lyric video of his song “Pain is a Gift.” The lyrics are as follows:

If you could go back in time, tell yourself you’ll be alright. Would all the hell you’re going through feel heaven sent and meant for you? What if… pain is a gift?

The comment section on the post is full of condolences from fans of the “America’s Got Talent” quarterfinalist and “Voice” contestant.

“Very hard news to hear today. I’m so sorry to learn of your passing. Sending love and condolences to Nolan’s family and loved ones,” wrote one fan.

Another wrote, “Going to miss you man rip :( you were a truly a great person who inspired me with your music and your story. Rest In Peace man.”

On Instagram, one of Neal’s last posts is of a funny moment where a friend of his walks in on him singing a song with some profanity and she has a child with her. It’s a nice moment of levity from a few weeks ago.

“Nolan, I have no words right now. Season 11 was my favorite season of ‘The Voice.’ Your talent was so amazing. We will miss you so much. You’re loved always,” wrote one fan in the comments.

Neal Also Wrote That ‘God is So Much Bigger Than Social Media’

In a Facebook post from July 6, Neal joked that he needed people to “validate his existence” and get more followers, but then he said that actually having anyone follow his music career is “a gift.”

Neal wrote:

I’m only a few followers away from 18k
Please validate my existence and help me get more followers!
That was a joke, btw…
I literally don’t care how “many” followers I have. The fact that I have ANYONE “following” my career is a gift that far exceeds my wildest expectations. Plus… God is SO much bigger than social media… I’ll be fine.

TMZ reports that Neal was found in his bedroom of the apartment they share and that officers told them on the desk was a guitar pick that appeared to have a powder residue on it and a note talking about how he reportedly struggled with substance abuse.

His issues with substance abuse were something Neal openly talked about on both “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice.” He also told local Tennessee NBC affiliate WBIR that he went to rehab, got clean but then relapsed after his time on “The Voice.”

“I remember I got clean in 2010; May 15, went to rehab. Stayed clean,” Nolan 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. I remember trying to be normal and fitting in. 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.”

On Neal’s Patreon bio, he talks about how he was “10 years free from the needle since May 15, 2010,” and 14 months “clean and sober from everything since May 16, 2019.” He also wrote that he was hoping to get to 888 patrons because that was his “spirit number” so that he could work on his music full time and help “reach those in need of a little light in their lives! Together we can outshine the darkness!”

“The Voice” returns in the fall of 2022 for its 22nd season on NBC.

READ NEXT: ‘Voice’ Coach Opens About Up Mental Health Struggles

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