G.R.L. Simone, ‘X-Factor’ finalist Battle with death ruled a suicide

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By Alan Duke, CNN

updated 11:42 AM EDT, Mon September 8, 2014
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/06/showbiz/simone-battle-dead/index.html' target='_blank'>Simone Battle</a>, an "X Factor" finalist and G.R.L. singer, was found dead Friday, September 5, in a Los Angeles home, a coroner's spokesman said. She was 25. Simone Battle, an “X Factor” finalist and G.R.L. singer, was found dead Friday, September 5, in a Los Angeles home, a coroner’s spokesman said. She was 25

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Simone Battle’s group, G.R.L., had recent success with Pitbull
  • Battle’s group performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last month
  • The singer’s boyfriend found her hanging in a closet Friday
Los Angeles (CNN) — Simone Battle, who appeared to be on the verge of realizing her lifelong dream of stardom, hanged herself Friday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman said Monday.

Battle, 25, was an “X Factor” finalist in 2011 and a singer with G.R.L., a girls group created last year to replace the Pussycat Dolls.

She and her four bandmates found success this year with their music, including a collaboration with Pitbull. G.R.L. performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last month.

Battle’s boyfriend last saw her alive at 3:45 a.m. Friday in the West Hollywood apartment they shared. He found her hanging in in a closet about four hours later, according to Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

The autopsy conducted Sunday determined that it was a suicide, Winter said.

G.R.L. collaborated with Pitbull on the song “Wild Wild Love,” which rose to No. 30 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this year.

Pitbull tweeted his condolences Saturday: “My heart and prayers go out to @GRLSimone: @grl and her family. RIP Dios la bendiga.”

G.R.L.’s latest single was “Ugly Heart,” released in June, according to Billboard.

Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin created G.R.L. as the “next generation” of her original group last year.

The G.R.L. Twitter account posted this message Saturday: “Words cannot express the depth of our loss. Simone’s incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart.”

Battle had said that Whitney Houston “inspired my dream to be a singer,” according to the group’s official biography on the RCA Records website.

She grew up in Los Angeles, singing in a church choir, studying ballet and tap, modeling and acting in television commercials before working an internship with a company associated with the Black Eyed Peas.

She studied music and songwriting at the University of Southern California before competing on “The X Factor,” where she reached the top 16.

The highlight of her acting career was a role in “We the Party,” a 2012 film directed by Mario Van Peebles, the bio said.

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