Simone Battle dead: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Nicole Scherzinger lead tributes to 'exceptional young talent'

The former X Factor contestant was found dead at home aged 25 on Friday

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Simon Cowell has led tributes to former X Factor contestant Simone Battle who was found dead at her Hollywood home aged just 25.

The Californian singer, known as part of five-piece girl group G.R.L, featured on rapper Pitbull’s song “Wild Wild Love” earlier this year and was described by her record labels as an “exceptional young talent and human being”.

Cowell paid respects to a “fun nice person” on Twitter, while his fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini sent “thoughts and prayers” to Battle’s loved ones.

Her bandmates released a statement on their Facebook group explaining that “words cannot express the depth of (their) loss”.

“Simone’s incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart,” it read.


Kimberley Wyatt from the now disbanded Pussycat Dolls, whose creator Robin Antin also put together G.R.L, tweeted that she was in “disbelief” at the news of Battle’s death.

Pitbull wrote that his “heart and prayers go out” to Battle, G.R.L and her family, while a “devastated and upset” Nicole Scherzinger dedicated her performance in South Africa last night to “anyone struggling with a hard time”.

Battle’s cause of death remains unknown but an autopsy is scheduled to take place later today. US reports suggest the singer took her own life at home, although this is yet to be confirmed.