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Chris Daughtry opens up about the 'guilt' he felt following death of his daughter

The singer spoke openly about the tragic loss of both his mother and step-daughter Hannah.
Chris Daughtry (left) and Kelly Clarkson (right) spoke about his grief and new album in an episode that aired on June 23.Weiss Eubanks / NBCUniversal

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or go to  SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.  

After two tragic losses, Chris Daughtry is on the heart-wrenching road of putting the shattered pieces of his life together again.

Nearly eight months after losing his mother to cancer and a week later, his step-daughter Hannah Prince to suicide, the singer says guilt has been part of his grief.

During a Thursday appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Daughtry touched on the pain he’s endured.

“It was right before the tour I lost my mom to cancer. And then a week later, exactly one week later, I lost my daughter to suicide,” he explained during his appearance. “I dealt with both differently, processed both losses very differently... the common denominator in both is the guilt. The ‘I wish I would have said this. I wish I would’ve done this. I wish I would’ve called more' ... Those moments of guilt are the hardest because you can’t do anything about it. There’s always going to be reminders of what you could’ve done or whatever, and I tend to beat myself up a lot over it.”

Daughtry went on to share with Clarkson that he and his family honored his step-daughter’s wish to have a natural burial, which allows for a body to be decomposed and naturally recycled into the earth.

“We all had shovels," he explained, adding that his other kids participated in the burial as well. "It was a very heavy magical (experience) it’s hard to explain but seeing them process that... it’s incredible.”

“Everyone was involved. And it was very healing.”

In a statement released to TODAY in January, Daughtry shared the news of his losses. According to the statement, the 25-year-old died by suicide in November 2021 and had been under the influence of narcotics at the time of her death.

Daughtry lost his step-daughter Hannah Price (pictured) last year in November.Courtesy Chris and Deanna Daughtry

“From a young age, Hannah struggled with mental illness and was in and out of therapy and treatment centers. As Hannah got older, she struggled to find her footing and began using drugs and often found herself in abusive relationships,” the statement explained at the time. “Just months after losing her biological father to suicide, Hannah was the victim of a crime and was shot in the face. We did everything we could to support her and get her the help she needed to recover from these tragedies and get her life back on track.”

In a separate statement shared on his Instagram page, the singer shared that in addition to the sudden death of his daughter, he was also mourning the loss of his mother.

“I am still processing the last 24 hours. I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken,” he wrote in the post. “I just recently lost my mother to cancer, but I was blessed with the chance to say goodbye, and I was processing it privately. We never got to say goodbye to our precious Hannah, and it’s another huge hit to our family.”

In addition to talking about grief, Daughtry also spoke about the recent freedom his art has afforded him in recent months. Speaking to Clarkson, Daughtry opened up about his latest album, “Dearly Beloved,” which he self-released.

“(It’s) a very liberating gift to not have anybody’s voice but your own and your tight circle of producers and writers that you work with,” he explained. “I wasn’t chasing anything. I wasn’t trying to write a radio song or this or that it was just like, ‘let’s write ‘and that was such a gratifying experience. And (I’m) the most proud of this record.”