Lil' Chris' family pay tribute to late star: 'He was the sunshine on a rainy day'

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The family of Lil' Chris, who died less than a week ago, have paid tribute to the popular singer and TV personality. In a statement released on Monday, relatives called the late star "the sunshine on a rainy day".

The family also confirmed that Lil' Chris, whose real name was Christopher James Hardman, had been suffering from depression for years.

"Chris was a huge personality who will be missed by everyone who knew him," the statement from the Hardmans read. "He was a hugely creative person who used this side of his personality to make others smile, to cheer people up, and to make others feel better."

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Lil' Chris was "committed to helping others find better ways of overcoming depression"

It continued: "If he wasn't bringing joy through music he was telling jokes or pulling pranks. He was the sunshine on a rainy day, and could make friends the minute he walked into a room, making everyone smile with his gorgeous, cheeky face.

"A real people person, he would always take the time to stop and talk, no matter who or when, and we are proud that he was so well thought of by all who knew him. So many commented on what a lovely, well brought up person he was, so polite and kind and a pleasure to know."

The statement also noted at the end: "Chris had struggled with mental health issues and depression in recent years. He was committed to helping others find better ways of overcoming this illness and publicly said he wished to find a cure. Despite this, his concern was always his family and his friends, whose happiness was his priority."

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Those attending Lil' Chris' funeral have been asked to wear green, his favourite colour

The family added that the funeral would be a private affair for relatives and friends only. Those attending have been asked to wear green, Chris' favourite colour, while others can wear green to honour him. The date has not yet been announced.

Chris, who died at the age of 24, had previously made comments about depression. In a message posted on 3 March on Twitter, he told fans: "Thinking about quitting music forever… There has to come a time eventually when I have to face reality. I'm just not good enough."

The actor, who rose to prominence in 2006 after appearing on Rock School, also tweeted in October: "Depression really sucks. Learning how to notice it can save lives and your own feelings at times. Take your time to understand it, for everybody."

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Lil' Chris released his debut single Checkin' It Out in September 2006

Chris went on to sign a record deal and release his debut single Checkin' It Out in September 2006, followed by his debut album Lil' Chris which was released in December that same year.

He made a number of other TV appearances, including Celebrity Scissorhands, The Weakest Link, and also appeared as a support act for McFly, before the release of his second studio album What's It All About in October 2008.

Chris was found unconscious and not breathing in his home on 23 March 2015. Suffolk Police pronounced him dead at the scene and said they were not treating the death as suspicious.

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