Rock School star Lil' Chris found dead in Lowestoft

Chris Hardman Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chris Hardman rose to fame as Lil' Chris after appearing in Rock School in 2006

Lil' Chris, who launched a singing career after he found fame on reality show Rock School, has died.

The 24-year-old, whose real name was Chris Hardman, starred in the Channel 4 programme set at Kirkley High School in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

He had his first hit single, Checkin' It Out, after he appeared on the show in 2006.

Suffolk Police said it was not treating the death, reported on Monday, as suspicious.

The force was called to an address in Union Road, Lowestoft, at around 11:45 GMT to reports a man had died suddenly, a spokeswoman said.

Image caption A number of musicians paid tribute to Lil' Chris after news of his death was announced
Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Chris Hardman (second row, right) appeared on the Channel 4 show alongside tutor Gene Simmons
Image copyright Twitter

A post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death is due to take place, and a file will be passed to the coroner, she added.

Gene Simmons, who appeared on Rock School as Lil' Chris's music teacher, led tributes to him. "He was loved," the Kiss bassist tweeted.

TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing champion Caroline Flack tweeted: "He was a regular guest on [CBBC show] TMi Friday. Always always such a polite lovely guy. That's so sad."

Image copyright youtube: Loserville the musical
Image caption Chris Hardman (left) appeared on stage in Loserville

McBusted drummer Harry Judd tweeted: "Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Lil' Chris.

"He supported us a while back and was a little star and an awesome guy."

Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo, who went to the same school as the singer, called him a "super-talented kid".

Image caption Debut single Checkin' It Out reached number three in the UK singles chart in 2006

"Thoughts go out to his family. Such a shame. Really nice guy and positive role model for our area," he added.

Hardman's last single, called Christmas Number One, was released in December 2013. He had recently performed in the stage musical Loserville.

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