Americas Got Talent star and Tyler Perry collaborator Zuri Craig dies at age 44

Former America's Got Talent grand finalist Zuri Craig has died at the age of 44.

Details of the cause of his death have not yet been disclosed, but it is known that the singer, who also acted in several Tyler Perry plays, passed away on Friday night.

Craig's family announced the sad news on his ZoReMi Entertainment account today (Sunday).

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The short statement read: "It is with profound sadness that we announce the transition of our beloved son, brother and friend, Zuri Craig. We thank you in advance for your prayers.

"Please honour our privacy during this unimaginable time of mourning. Official details to follow."

Craig and Jeffery Lewis reached the final of the 10th series of NBC's America's Got Talents in 2015 as The CraigLewis Band.

They performed memorable covers of James Brown's "This is a Man's World" and Mary J. Blige's "I'm Goin' Down" as they went on to finish fifth behind the eventual winner – British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin.

The duo, who both hail from Atlanta in the US state of Georgia, were scheduled to perform next Sunday at The King's Fest in Camilla, Georgia.

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Craig was also a producer in his own right and his play Soul Food Live is due to premiere next month on November 20 in his home city of Atlanta at the Center Stage Theater.

But his work with renowned playwright and filmmaker Perry is probably what Craig will be best remembered for, having portrayed 17-year-old Donnie in the musical Madea's Big Happy Family, which was staged at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood in 2010.

He also played Madea's virginal son Japan Mansell in the musical A Madea Christmas at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta a year later.

Craig's last acting gig saw him voice the preacher in OurSomewhere Digital Productions' podcast, The Color Purple Audio Experience: A Benefit for Black Womxn, which premiered on November 26 in 2021.

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