X Factor Singer Freddie Combs Dead at 49 — Rewatch His Incredible Audition

·1 min read

Freddie Combs, a minister who gained notoriety for competing in the second season of Fox’s The X Factor, died on Friday, Sept. 10 at the age of 49.

Combs famously received four yeses from the show’s judges for his audition, an incredible rendition of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which he dedicated to his wife Katrina.

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According to Combs’ public obituary, he died after battling a “brief illness,” while TMZ reports kidney failure as his official cause of death.

“Freddie is survived by his wife, Katrina (Kay) Combs, parents Leslie & Nancy Rife, sisters Carrie Rife, Kristina (Andrew) Boggs and nephew Colin Boggs,” the obituary reads. “Freddie spent most of his life in ministry preaching the gospel and singing praises to his Lord Jesus Christ. He has touched countless lives and their ministry will continue to do so.”

In addition to the three episodes of The X Factor on which Combs appeared, he and his wife were featured in a 2010 TLC special called Ton of Love, which documented his weight-loss struggle.

The U.S. version of The X Factor aired for three seasons (2011–2013) on Fox. During the course of its run, the judges’ panel hosted the likes of Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Cheryl, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio.

Do you remember Combs’ run on the show? Hit PLAY on a video of his stunning audition below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

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