It had only been a little over four months, so it was understandable that the four remaining members of American girl group G.R.L –Lauren Bennett, Paula Van Oppen, Emmalyn Estrada and Natasha Slayton– had remained pretty quiet about the sudden passing of their former band mate, 25-year-old Simone Battle.
And yet today, the four women, who are still grieving their friend, broke their silence in the most beautiful and emotional way possible.
G.R.L. indeed just released “Lighthouse,” a music video celebrating the life of Battle. Through pictures and video footage of Battle’s happier days, the four women encourage those still struggling with depression and mental illnesses, the way Battle did, to reach out to loved ones.
“She’s so happy and so full of life, she was such a goofball and that’s how you want to see her, to remember her. And then you realize she is no longer with us. It’s just hard to understand. It’s all still so raw,” Slayton commented about the video footage. “It was awkward to have the cameras there in that moment because the song is so personal to us, it was inevitable we would break down,” Bennett added about the footage of the four remaining girls hugging and breaking down near the end of the video.
G.R.L. have partnered with American campaign Gives An Hour to promote awareness of mental illness and options for those who suffer from depression or anxiety.
“A big part of us getting back on track is to get people talking about mental illness, bringing it out into the open and to encourage people to pay attention to those around them who may be suffering internal anguish,” Slayton shared.
If you or someone you know is suffering, please visit GRLGivesAnHour.org.