America’s Got Talent Star Jay Jay Phillips Dead at 30 After Contracting COVID-19

Written by on December 5, 2021

Jay Jay Phillips, a musician who made appearances on two seasons of America’s Got Talent, has passed away following a battle with COVID-19, according to his family. He was 30.

In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2021

The America’s Got Talent family has lost one of their own.

Jay Jay Phillips, a musician who appeared on two seasons of the NBC talent competition, has died, his band Mettal Maffia confirmed. He was 30.

“It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend @jayjayrocks,” read a statement shared on the band’s Instagram page on Tuesday, Nov. 30. “It still doesn’t feel real and we would give anything to change it.”

The rock group added, “Please respect the family, as well as our wishes as we take our time to grieve and process this detrimental loss.”

A member of Phillips’ family told TMZ that the keyboardist had been sick with COVID-19 and was found dead at his home on Thanksgiving Day when his girlfriend and her mother went to check up on him.

A native of Ohio, Phillips made his first appearance on America’s Got Talent during its fourth season in 2009. He was eliminated from the competition after auditioning in front of Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff, in which he played an original song.

Phillips returned to show on its 12th season and made his way to the Judge Cuts, where he was ultimately ousted.

Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Prior to his AGT debut, Phillips competed in the Tri-C High School Rock Off with metal band Hysteria, according to Ohio-based news outlet

On Monday, Nov. 29, Phillips’ bandmate Lauryn Von Taylor paid tribute to the late musician by sharing a throwback photo from last year’s Halloween, writing, “it’s only been a few days since you were taken from us and it’s so painful.”

“We miss you. Your jokes, your origami, your all hurts,” she added. “Keep on shining. Rest In Power.”

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at To plan your vaccine, head to NBC’s Plan Your Vaccine site at

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