Debra Byrd, An American Idol Star, Died At The Age Of 72, Jennifer Hudson Led Honors

Debra Byrd, best known as a vocal coach on American Idol, died at the age of 72. The star had previously collaborated with Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson.

American Idol star Debra Byrd has died at the age of 72, with Jennifer Hudson leading the tributes to the singer and professional music instructor. Debra was a well-known television personality, having served as a vocal coach on American Idol, The Voice, Canadian Idol, and Military Idol.

She died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, but her cause of death has yet to be determined. Debra has a successful career instructing Grammy winners, recording artists, actors, and musicians. She collaborated with major personalities like as Barry Manilow, Bob Dylan, and Kelly Clarkson.

Jennifer Hudson, 42, paid a moving homage to Debra in a devastating post. Jennifer added, with a series of photos of the star from her time on American Idol, “Heartbroken over the passing of Debra Byrd, American Idol’s voice teacher.

“She encouraged and supported us from the very beginning! I am so grateful for everything she taught us. She will be dearly missed, but her legacy lives on through the music of countless artists she influenced during her lifetime. Rest in peace, Debra.”

Barry Manilow, 80, a Mandy singer, also commented on the death of Debra, a member of his backing ensemble Ladyflash. He described her as’my love’, writing: “This is one of the saddest days of my life. I just can’t wrap my mind around the face that Debra is no longer with me. She was one of the most wonderful friends I’ve ever had. I will miss you forever, my love.”

Clay Aiken, 45, an American Idol alum, then commended Debra as a trailblazer among young vocalists in a statement. He wrote: “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that no one was a better mentor, coach, teacher, or champion to us Idol contestants than Byrd.”

“No one spent more time with us. I’ll never forget her drilling into us how we needed to look right into the camera and connect with the audience at home. She was a light in so many lives. I am so lucky that I got to call her a friend,”

According to Deadline, Debra previously worked as a coach on American Idol for the first ten seasons before moving on to The Voice.

She composed soundtracks for several films, including The Lion King 1½, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, and Sister Act II. In 2019, Debra worked for NBC as a vocal production supervisor for the network’s Super Bowl tribute to Prince, directed by Spike Lee.

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