A close friend of Cady Groves, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter who suddenly died this week in Tennessee, opened up to Fox News in an interview about her tragic past and how loved ones are still searching for answers.
Ryan Williams, 32, of Seattle, Wash. met Groves in 2011 just one week after she moved to Los Angeles, Calif. and was signed to a major record label. Williams auditioned and was recruited as Groves' guitarist and the two would tour around the country in the same van together for the next three years.
Groves had a contagious personality and the ability to light up a room, Williams says, but she also dealt with a lot of loss.
"I was always concerned for Cady. She was like another young sister to me," Williams told Fox News. "It goes hand in hand with her creativity. Whatever she was feeling, whether it was happy or the opposite, it just fully engulfed her emotionally, which made for wonderful art but it did take a toll on her."
Williams recalls Groves reeling from a "tragic family past." Two of her brothers passed away, one of whom Groves was close to in age. The singer-songwriter found healing in her music but it didn't eliminate the traumas she encountered.
"Her dad wasn't really around anymore and music was really tough on her as well," Williams said. "She had so many tragic things happen to her in her life. There was always someone's birthday that wasn't around anymore, like her brothers. There was always kind of like a dark shadow around her."
"She had a vision. She was constantly going back and forth with the label and her management because she wanted to get things right. She really cared," he shared.
The pal was with Groves when she received a call in 2013 or 2014 that she was being dropped from her record label. It was a "really tough" time for Groves, who Williams says recorded and produced 30 to 40 songs that have still never been released.
"It was really hard for her because it felt like she had to start over," he continued. "She felt the rug had been pulled out underneath her career. Moving to Nashville was really good for her. She did persist."
In recent months, Williams said he and Groves kept in touch often over text. The Oklahoma-born singer was recently engaged but it didn't move forward.
"She was doing OK. I think she was just feeling a lot of struggle with getting her music out and the breakup was really hard for her. She was just dealing with so much," said Williams.
On Sunday, the late artist's brother, Cody Groves, confirmed her passing in a tweet, sharing that she died of natural causes and that no foul play was involved.
An official at the Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office told Fox News it could take up to 12 weeks for Groves' autopsy report to be completed.
Now, Williams says he is left heartbroken by the void Groves has left in his life and in the music industry.
"She was so creative, always writing music and had such a deep connection with her fans too," the friend said. "People would line up just to talk to her after shows and she would know all of their names. She'd recognize so many people over the country. She'll be remembered for always making jokes."
Williams concluded that he's "definitely" in search of answers about her passing.
"I'm kind of just curious to see what the final report is on it. She had some health issues here and there but overall she was in good health and young. It doesn't feel like there's closure yet," said Williams. "I'll miss her a lot. She was a really good friend."