G.R.L. felt like a bomb had gone off when they found out Simone Battle had died.
The death of the 25-year-old, who took her own life last September, shocked the music world and especially shook up her bandmates.
Simone rose to prominence on the US version of The X Factor and later joined the girlgroup alongside Lauren Bennett, Emmalyn Estrada, Natasha Slayton and Paula van Oppen.
Talking about her death for the first time, the G.R.L. members have revealed how hard it has been in the wake of the tragedy.
“It was like a bomb went off. It felt like everything in our lives had changed,” Emmalyn admitted to British newspaper The Sun. “I had never been through anything like this before. It’s only now, months later, that we’ve started to pick up the pieces of our lives.”
“We woke up in the morning like any other day, expecting to go to rehearsals with Simone like we did the day before,” Lauren added. “We had to learn our choreography for a show we had coming up. Then we got a phone call.
“For me, that was the most shocking call I’ve ever had in my life.”
G.R.L. was formed by Robin Antin, who also put together The Pussycat Dolls, and they were intended to be the new incarnation of the super successful girlband.
The group were enjoying huge success before Simone’s death, including a track with Pitbull, and had just started their domination of the British charts.
Simone was reportedly suffering from depression due to financial issues before her death.
Her remaining bandmates then had to decide whether to call it quits of carry on as a four-piece.
“We weren’t able to rush this decision. All we could think about was losing our best friend and wrapping our heads around the fact we don’t get to see her anymore,” Paula said.
“As these few months have passed, it’s been a bit easier to look at what we’re going to do moving forward. But it’s definitely still something we’re dealing with today and it’s really hard.”