Justin Timberlake Mourns the Death of Longtime ‘Tennessee Kids’ Backup Singer Nicole Hurst
Justin Timberlake is mourning the loss of his longtime backup singer and Tennessee Kids member, Nicole Hurst, who passed away on Aug. 4 in Houston, Texas.
On Friday (Aug.6) the "Man of the Woods" singer shared a heartbreaking Instagram post dedicated to the 39-year-old Houston native.
Timberlake shared photos and videos from their time together over the years, revealing how they frequently referred to one another as "bro" and "sister." One clip shows Timberlake serenading Hurst with "Happy Birthday" to celebrate her special day.
"My heart is so heavy. We lost a beautiful soul this week. Nicole lit up every room she walked into. On and off the stage she was a constant source of joy and positivity," Timberlake wrote.
He noted that he was "blessed" to spend time with her and to experience her "infectious smile and love for a life filled with music."
"Nicole, it’s not enough to say that I am going to miss you dearly. Thank you for your light. I will do my best to carry that with me. I love you, my sister. Forever family and forever a TN Kid," he concluded.
Hurst previously performed at the Super Bowl, The White House, Grammys, Saturday Night Live and the Academy Awards. She worked with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson, among many other stars.
In 2013, Hurst was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was rehearsing for Timberlake's tour with Jay-Z.
"I think one of my first thoughts was, am I going to die?" she told ABC 13 back in 2015. "I had four months of chemo followed by my surgery which I had a mastectomy."
The cancer initially doubled in size, but Hurst was in remission just two years later. Her friend and ABC reporter Samica Knight said that Hurst was dealing with cancer for a total of eight years.
"She’d fly into Houston, head to @mdandersoncancercenter for chemo & literally fly right out to sing on the world’s biggest stages," Knight said in an Instagram post dedicated to her late friend.
Stars We Lost in 2021