'America's Got Talent' alum Jay Jay Phillips dies of COVID at age 30

·2 min read
'America's Got Talent' alum Jay Jay Phillips has died of COVID at age 30. (Photo: America's Got Talent/NBC)
'America's Got Talent' alum Jay Jay Phillips has died of COVID at age 30. (Photo: America's Got Talent/NBC)

Musician Jay Jay Phillips has died, his band Mettal Maffia confirmed in an Instagram post on Dec. 3. He was 30.

“It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend @jayjayrocks,” the band’s post, which features an image of Phillips with angel wings, reads. “It still doesn’t feel real and we would give anything to change it. Please respect the family, as well as our wishes as we take our time to grieve and process this detrimental loss. We miss you brother, every second of every minute, of every day. Thank you for teaching us all to laugh a little more. Rock in Paradise.”

TMZ reports that Phillips died following a battle with COVID during the week of Thanksgiving, and was found dead in his home by his girlfriend and her mother. He was reportedly not vaccinated yet, however, had informed friends that he had planned on getting the shot. Phillips’ father is currently sick with COVID and is on a ventilator in the hospital, per the outlet.

Phillips, known for his larger-than-life hairstyle and keyboard skills, appeared on NBC competition series America’s Got Talent twice: Once in 2009, when he was eliminated early on in the process, and again in 2017, when he was sent home during the quarterfinals. Since then, the artist has worked with Mettal Maffia, and, in an October 2021 Instagram post, shared how excited he was to tour with his bandmates.

“So in case anyones wondering where i''ve been or what i've been uptoo here it is!!!! My band METTAL MAFFIA is making huge moves and anyone that's a fan of me IT'S A MUST you check us out,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “I'm 50 million more times exited about this than the whole AGT thing and i'm so grateful to rock out with my brothers and sister and dude I love this band and them so much it's rediculous, check out our insta and follow us at @mettalmaffiaofficial so you can catch a show.”