The family of former Rock School reality star Lil' Chris have spoken for the first time since his sudden death, confirming that the singer struggled with "mental health issues and depression."

In their statement, the 24-year-old's relatives remembered the Checkin' It Out singer (real name Chris Hardman) as a "huge personality".

"Chris had struggled with mental health issues and depression in recent years. He was committed to helping others find better ways of overcoming this illness and publicly said he wished to find a cure," the family explained.

"[He was] a huge personality who will be missed by everyone who knew him. If he wasn't bringing joy through music he was telling jokes or pulling pranks. He was the sunshine on a rainy day, and could make friends the minute he walked into a room, making everyone smile with his gorgeous, cheeky face. A real people person, he would always take the time to stop and talk, no matter who or when, and we are proud that he was so well thought of by all who knew him."

According to BBC News, the family stated the funeral will be invitation-only and those who do attend are asked to wear green, which was the singer's favourite colour.

Hardman's body was found on 23 March at a house on Union Road in Lowestoft after police were called to the property. Suffolk police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

The singer rose to fame in 2006 after appearing in Channel 4 reality TV show Rock School, where he was made the lead singer of a school band formed by Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.

After news of his death broke, several celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences.

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