Lil’ Chris has passed away aged 24. The singer-songwriter – full name Christopher James Hardman – first found fame aged 15 when he appeared in series two of Channel 4’s Rock School which saw Kiss frontman Gene Simmons turning a group of school kids into a rock band.
Hardman went on to sign a record deal with RCA and released his debut single Checkin’ It Out in September 2006, reaching number three in the UK Top 40. His debut album Lil’ Chris was released later that year with a second record, What It’s All About, following in 2008, featuring the single We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off.
A statement released by Suffolk Police confirms: “Police investigating the sudden death of a man in Lowestoft can confirm they are not treating it as suspicious.
“Officers received a call from the ambulance service on Monday 23 March at around 11:45am and attended an address in Union Road following a sudden death of a 24-year-old man.
“A post mortem examination is due to take place to establish the cause of death and a file will be passed to the coroner in due course and an inquest opened.”
In 2012, Lil’ Chris appeared in Loserville: The Musical in Leeds and then the West End. The show’s co-writers James Bourne and Elliot Davis have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the late singer:
Chris . I will miss you . Your friendship and your talent ! Rest in peace . #RIPCJHardman
Singer Lloyd Wilkinson – who Hardman released a single with in 2013 – has posted a picture on Facebook, adding, “I can not believe I’m doing this and I’m completely devastated. Rest in peace brother bear. Love you mate.”
The cause of Hardman’s death is still unclear but fans and friends have also used social media to pay their tribute:
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news