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Justin Timberlake Mourns and Honors Late Backup Singer After Death From Cancer

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Nicole Hurst, a singer who performed with Justin Timberlake and Kelly Clarkson, died recently after a battle with cancer. Timberlake shared a heartbreaking tribute to Hurst on Instagram Friday, calling the Houston singer a “beautiful soul” who “lit up every room” she walked into. Hurst was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

“My heart is so heavy. We lost a beautiful soul this week,” Timberlake wrote on Friday, alongside a collection of videos and photos with Hurst. “Nicole lit up every room she walked into. On and off the stage she was a constant source of joy and positivity. Some things feel so unfair and we will never understand why they happen. What I do know is that we were blessed to laugh with her, to travel 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.” Timberlake included a heart emoji at the end of his post.

Music producer Bryan-Michael Cox announced Hurst’s death on Wednesday. “I really still don’t have the words,” Cox wrote. “Once they come, then I’ll do a proper tribute but right now I got nothing man. Rest well, my friend. I hope you knew how loved you were.” Cox later shared an interview Hurst did with KPRC before she performed the National Anthem at a Houston Texans game. “Nicole… so many incredible memories… all of the feels today man,” Cox captioned the post.

Hurst was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple-positive breast cancer in July 2013, when she was preparing to tour with Timberlake and Jay-Z, she told KTRK in October 2015. “I had four months of chemo followed by my surgery which I had a mastectomy,” she said at the time. “Even while I was on chemotherapy my tumor doubled in size.” The cancer later escalated to stage 3, but at the time of her interview in 2015, her cancer was in remission.

Hurst joined Timberlake at the Oscars in 2017 when he performed “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” She also performed with Clarkson in her 2013 special Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale. She began working with Clarkson in 2011, according to Entertainment Weekly. She also performed at the White House twice during President Barack Obama’s administration. She also sang with Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson.

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