Entertainment Standout ‘X Factor’ Singer Freddie Combs Dies at 49
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4: Aug. 29: Actor Betty Lynn (“The Andy Griffith Show”) is 95. Movie director William Friedkin is 86. Actor Elliott Gould is 83. Actor Deborah Van Valkenburgh (“Too Close For Comfort”) is 69. Keyboardist Dan Truman of Diamond Rio is 65. Actor Rebecca DeMornay is 62. Bassist-singer Me’Shell NdegeOcello is 53. Singer Carl Martin of Shai is 51. Actor Carla Gugino is 50. Guitarist Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty is 46. Actor John Hensley (“Nip/Tuck”) is 44. Actor Kate Simses (“Dr. Ken”) is 42. Bassist David Desrosiers of Simple Plan is 41. Actor Jennifer Landon (“As the World Turns”) is 38. Actor Lea Michele (“Glee”) is 34.
Freddie Combs — a minister and season 2 contestant on The X Factor USA — died last week, according to a. He was 49 at the time of his death on Sept. 10.
The minister made his debut on the show in 2012 while judges Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid held auditions at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina. Combs sang Bette Midler’s 1988 song “Wind Beneath My Wings” from a wheelchair. His performance of the track earned him four yeses from the panel.
Ahead of his audition, Combs told his backstory and revealed that he nearly died in 2009. He also explained his weight-loss journey, which saw him lose 400 pounds. “My wife Kay, she’s an incredible woman. She started caring for me right after we were married in ’96, and as my weight rose, more things were required of her. She’s the closest thing to an angel and a saint that I know,” Combs said.
Luke Combs, Dan + Shay celebrated by peers at ACM Honors
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dan + Shay, Luke Combs, Rascal Flatts and more country artists were celebrated alongside prominent songwriters, producers and industry leaders at the Academy of Country Music Honors awards show. In front of a limited crowd at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, artists paid tribute to other writers, bands and even a documentarian for their work in the genre of country music. “Without the songwriters in this town, we would have none of this. We have none of the shows, none of the record sales,” said Dan Smyers of the Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay, who were given the Jim Reeves International Award.
“When I was bedridden and never came out of the house, my music was never heard,” he said. “My biggest dream would be to give hope to people who are my size so they can achieve their dreams. And I know people might think I would never have a chance, and maybe I don’t, but I hope the judges will look past my exterior and give a fat boy a chance.”
After Combs’ performance, both Cowell and Reid told him they would continue to support him along his weight-loss journey, with Cowell challenging him to stand up the next time he performed on the show.
reports that Combs died of kidney failure.
Revisit Combs’ performance on The X Factor below.
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9 .
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9: Oct. 3: Composer Steve Reich is 85. Singer Chubby Checker is 80. Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’ Mo’ is 70. Actor Hart Bochner (“Breaking Away”) is 65. Actor Peter Frechette (“Profiler”) is 65. Actor-comedian Greg Proops is 62. Actor Jack Wagner is 62. Drummer Tommy Lee of Motley Crue is 59. Actor Janel Moloney (“The West Wing”) is 52. Singer Gwen Stefani of No Doubt is 52. Singer Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys is 50. Singer G. Love is 49. Actor Keiko Agena (“Gilmore Girls”) is 48.