'Britain's Got Talent' Finalist Simonne Kerr Dies at 31

Simone Samantha Kerr, a finalist on Britain's Got Talent, died on Wednesday after being stabbed in London, Metropolitan Police said Thursday. She was 31 years old.

Police responded to a report of a stabbing Wednesday just after 12:30 p.m. at a residency on Grayshott Road. When paramedics arrived, they found a woman with a stab wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene about an hour later.

Police identified the deceased as Kerr after her family was notified. A post-mortem was conducted Thursday.

Desmond Sylva, 40, is in police custody and was arrested for suspicion of murder at the scene, reports The Guardian. Police said they are not looking for another suspect in connection with the case.

During a short hearing, Sylva did not enter a plea. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Kerr appeared on Britain's Got Talent earlier this season as a member of the B Positive Choir, which encourages blood donations. They sang "Rise Up" during their appearance on the ITV show.

Kerr worked as a haematology and oncology nurse at Guy's hospital in central London, according to the National Health Service's Blood Donor website.

She was inspired to become a nurse because of her son Kavele, who died from sickle cell disease in 2015. He was 6 years old.

The singer learned she was a carrier of the sickle cell disease gene when she was 12 weeks pregnant with her son. She also learned that his father was a carrier. Kavele was diagnosed with the disease when he was born and was hospitalized at least once a year, Kerr told the NHS. After he died, Kerr dedicated herself to health care and raised awareness for blood donation.

"Many people with sickle cell disease rely on regular blood transfusions to live a normal life and often the best matched blood comes from people of the same ethnic heritage, so as sickle cell disease is most prevalent in black people, it's important that black people give blood," Kerr said. "It's also important for more young people to give blood so that blood stocks for the future can meet demand."

She continued, "I got to spend six wonderful years watching Kavele grow and though there were a handful of hospitalizations in his short life, I was positive that he would live a full life into adulthood. I lost him in 2015."

Kerr said singing was an "uplifting experience" for her and she wanted to use her talent to "raise awareness of the urgent need for more young and black people to give blood while doing something positive and motivational."

Kerr's death is the 90th homicide investigation in London this year. On Thursday and Friday, there were more stabbings, reports BBC News. On Thursday, four teenage boys were attacked, leaving one boy in critical condition. On Friday, a 42-year-old man died after being stabbed.


Photo credit: NHS Give Blood