Former The X-Factor contestant Freddie Combs has died at the age of 49.

Combs passed away on Sept. 10 due to kidney failure, which was not related to COVID-19.

“I have so much gratitude to be his wife for 25 years and to be his best friend,” Kay told TMZ. She went on to say that he died surrounded by friends and family.

Combs had a death scare in 2009, when he weighed 920 pounds, after which he lost 400 pounds before appearing on the show. He had dedicated himself to a healthy lifestyle and managed to lose additional weight during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He lost down to 385 pounds [during that time],” Kay told People. “And I can tell you, I have never been more proud of somebody. Ultimately, the battle with the weight and the fluid over the years contributed to kidney damage and then ultimately kidney failure.”

Combs appeared on season two of The X-Factor where his performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was popular with audiences. He dedicated the song to his wife.

Combs managed to receive four yes votes, allowing him to advance to the next round. Despite being eliminated shortly after, his story inspired many fans of the show.

“You know what, you really touched me when you sang,” Demi Lovato said after hearing the performance.

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