‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist and Tyler Perry player Zuri Craig dies at 44

A bald man wearing glasses and a plaid suit holding a microphone on a stage
Zuri Craig of the CraigLewis Band performs at the 2015 Nick Cannon Rocks for St. Mary’s Kids event in New York.
(Matthew Eisman / WireImage)

Zuri Craig, a former “America’s Got Talent” finalist who worked on multiple Tyler Perry productions, died Friday at age 44, his family announced Sunday.

In a statement shared on social media by Craig’s longtime singing partner, Jeffery Lewis, and others, the musician’s family remembered him as a “beloved son, brother and friend.”

“We thank you in advance for your prayers,” the statement read. “Please honor our privacy during this unimaginable time of mourning.”


Craig’s cause of death has not been disclosed. Craig’s production company, Zo Re Mi Entertainment, did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

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Craig and Lewis competed together in 2015 on the 10th season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as the CraigLewis Band. On the show, the musical act from Atlanta performed powerful renditions of hits by James Brown, Mary J. Blige, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Madcon, finishing in fifth place.

“I lost my brother, my friend,” Lewis wrote Sunday on Instagram. “I am broken, completely devastated. I love you more than words can express. The CraigLewis Band Forever! Rest In Peace My Friend.”

In addition to making music with Lewis and competing on “AGT,” Craig appeared with his bandmate in stage productions of Perry’s “A Madea Christmas” (2011) and “Madea’s Big Happy Family” (2010). He also played a member of the choir in the 2011 film version of “Madea’s Big Happy Family.”

The CraigLewis Band released its latest album, “Must Be Love,” in 2016.

“We just want to be able to sing and make people happy and bring a little inspiration to people,” Lewis said during the CraigLewis band’s audition for “AGT.”


Escape artist Jonathan Goodwin was injured during rehearsal Thursday night, halting production on the NBC reality show.

Oct. 15, 2021