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'America's Got Talent' alum Jay Jay Phillips dies after battle with COVID-19, band says

"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," Mettal Maffia wrote.
Jay Jay Phillips
Jay Jay PhillipsNBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal
/ Source: NBC News

"America's Got Talent" alum Jay Jay Phillips died after becoming ill with COVID-19, his band said in an Instagram statement Friday.

"It is with great sadness we inform you all of the loss of our bandmate/brother/and friend @jayjayrocks. It still doesn’t feel real and we would give anything to change it," the message from Mettal Maffia read.

"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."

Deadline and other outlets have reported that the heavy-metal keyboardist was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Phillips appeared on season four in 2009 of the television competition series, which airs on NBC. He was eliminated and then came back for season 12 in 2017 but was cut before the quarterfinals.

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.