Britain's Got Talent shines a light on some of the nation's most talented individuals, and year after year, viewers are introduced to the seriously awe-inspiring skills of Britain's residents. However, while we celebrate the incredible contestants, we're reminded of those whose journeys to stardom were cut short. Here are some of the amazing BGT stars who have sadly passed on.
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Jack Saunders was a member of the dance troupe Green Force Five and sadly died in 2019. He had also appeared on the X Factor with Lauren Platt in 2014, and Sky One's Got to Dance in 2012, where he reached the finals as part of Unity UK. On BGT, Jack had made it through to the live semi-finals after impressing judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.
Speaking about her son taking his own life, Jack's mum said: "We don't know why he did it, he didn't leave a note. He did not have depression." She continued: "People can’t believe Jack is gone. We are the same. I want people to know that this can happen to any family." His dad Ian added: "I am so shocked. I keep expecting him to walk past the window."
BGT star Simonne Kerr, who sang with the B Positive Choir on the ITV show back in 2018, was tragically murdered by her boyfriend in 2019. The 31-year-old nurse had performed in the final of the talent show after her young son, Kavele, died from complications of sickle cell disease. Her partner, Desmond Sylva, appeared in court at the Old Bailey on trial for murder, where the prosecution stated that Simonne didn't "stand a chance" against him after he attacked her with a knife.
Following the attack, Desmond was said to call the police himself, telling them: "Can I have police please? I've just committed a murder. I'm ex-Army and I've got lots of mental health issues." He added that he did it because, "She got on my nerves, man, trying to fight me and take my money so I had to defend myself'".
Henry Hall died at the age of 86 in 2019, two years after he placed fifth in the competition alongside his friend Malcolm Sykes, who together formed OAP singing duo The Pensionalities.
The singer passed away at his home in Doncaster in April, and his obituary read: "In both life and death, Henry definitely did it 'his way!' He died peacefully at home, as he wished, with his family. He lived an extraordinary life and was known to a great many people as H from Cusworth's Motorcycles and latterly half of The Pensionalities from Britain's Got Talent. He was loved by many, forgotten by none and will be greatly missed by all."
The Pensionalities opened the final show, singing Frank Sinatra's When You're Smiling. "You've put a smile on the faces of the nation," David Walliams said.
"Granny rapper" Norma Clarke performed on the hit ITV show back in 2007, singing Sam the Rapper, which she wrote herself. Sadly, Norma died in 2019 from a heart attack and kidney failure following a long illness. Norma impressed the judges on the show, even making it through to boot camp before being eliminated from the competition.
Speaking about her mother's death last year, Norma's daughter Amanda Clarke told BirminghamLive: "She was just an incredible mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was such a character and many people remembered her for her appearance as a rapper on Britain's Got Talent."
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Amanda added: "She entered as she wanted to win the £100,000 prize money to pay for a new community centre for young people on her estate. That's how she was always thinking of others."
Robert Anker was involved in a car crash in Canada in 2017 and sadly died. The 27-year-old was a member of one of the biggest dance groups ever to take to the BGT stage, Diversity. He had been living in Canada following his success on the ITV show.
After his death, his cousin Rochelle Hanson wrote on a Just Giving page: "On 27th July 2017, Robert Anker aged 27 was involved in a fatal car accident in Canada and sadly passed away at the scene. We are raising funds for his family to be able to cover all costs for their trip to go and arrange his funeral in Canada. We would love to ensure that his family don't worry or stress about money at this time."
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