SInger, Anthony Riley, performing outside of Philly's Rittenhouse Park. (Ahd Photography/Flickr/CC BY-N.C. 2.0)
Singer, Anthony Riley, performing outside of Philly’s Rittenhouse Park. (Ahd Photography/Flickr/CC BY-N.C. 2.0)

William Bender and Barbara Laker, PHILLY.COM

PHILADELPHIA ( — Anthony Riley could make almost anyone feel good. You. The girl you’re trying to impress. A national TV audience. Our whole grouchy city.

The 28-year-old Philadelphia street performer got his big break this year on NBC’s “The Voice” by belting out James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good).”

Within seconds, all four judges were feeling good, too, slamming the red buttons that spin their chairs around and signal their approval.

Riley instantly became a crowd favorite. He was being coached by Pharrell Williams and poised to take the next step.

Like so many talented artists, though, Riley couldn’t work his magic on himself. He was found dead Friday, an apparent suicide, in the basement of a Center City apartment building where he had been staying.


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