G.R.L.: Comeback After Suicide Of Simone Battle
G.R.L. have announced their comeback as a trio, almost two years after the tragic suicide of Simone Battle. The 25-year-old band member and former The X Factor U.S. contestant hanged herself at her home in West Hollywood, California in September, 2014.
The remaining four members of the girl group, Paula Van Oppen, Natasha Slayton, Lauren Bennett and Emmalyn Estrada, announced they were disbanding in June 2015, nine months after Simone Battle died.
Now, original members Lauren and Natasha have teamed up again and added new member Jazzy Mejia, E! News confirmed. The reformed trio released a statement on Friday, and opened up about the obstacles that have faced them since the tragedy which caused the band to split.
“After the heartbreaking loss of Simone, a beautiful soul gone far too soon, we are unsure about whether to continue but ultimately we know we can’t give up on this, as we want to spread the message of strength and resilience no matter what obstacles come our way because this is what we love to do,” they said.
“We are so excited to introduce our amazing fans to our newest GRL sister, Jazzy Mejia. We are so honoured to be able to offer her this special opportunity, as she has been a devoted fan of GRL since the beginning, and now will be living out her dreams of performing on stage as a REAL GRL! Besides her raw talent, she is kind hearted and willing to put in the work necessary to make GRL greater than ever,” the trio added.
“We have received so much love and support already from the fans of GRL and for that we are so grateful,” the statement continued. “GRL’s journey thus far has had incredible highs and lows, we’ve definitely been through so much as a group and by no means has it been easy for us.”
G.R.L.’s debut performance as a trio will be in Australia at the Nickelodeon Slimefest, and they told E! News they will be preparing and rehearsing for the next month.
“We are so excited to be back and doing what we love – performing and making music!” the girls said. “We cannot wait to be back on stage!”
Originally conceived as a new version of the Pussycat Dolls by choreographer Robin Antin, the quintet was formed in 2013 and managed by Britney Spears’ longtime manager, Larry Rudolph.
They scored a hit song as a featured artist on Pitbull’s Wild Wild Love, and released their debut single Ugly Heart in June 2014.
Following the news of Simone’s suicide in September, 2014, the group posted an emotional message on Twitter, writing: “Words cannot express the depth of our loss… Simone’s incredible talent was only surpassed by the size of her heart.”