Former TV star Ricki Lake’s loss of her ex-husband Christian Evans inspired her heartfelt rendition of ‘Us' on X Factor Celebrity. And the touching performance moved many in the audience to tears.
Ricki Lake is most notable for her role in the 1998 film Hairspray and as the host of The Ricki Lake Show.
Ricki’s bubbly personality made her talk show a household staple. And at the time of its debut, Ricki Lake’s age of 24 made her the youngest person to host a syndicated talk show.
But behind the scenes, Ricki’s life wasn’t quite so happy. And after a divorce in 2004, she wondered if she’d ever find love again.
Mental Illness Complicates Love Story
Ricki Lake married jewelry designer Christian Evans in 2012. And while she loved him fiercely, Christian sadly suffered from a bipolar disorder.
Loving someone with an addiction or mental illness isn’t easy. And Ricki and Christian divorced in 2015.
"It was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Ricki says. "I wanted to save him, but I couldn't."
WATCH: Christian Evans Battle With Bipolar Disorder
Officially, the two were done. But unofficially, they remained connected as Ricki continued to support Christian "financially and emotionally." He remained the love of her life.
Then, in 2017, Christian committed suicide. And Ricki Lake’s loss nearly ruined her.
"I got to experience true depression," she says. "There were days when I couldn't get out of bed, and that is a very scary place to be. . . For a long time, I didn't think I'd ever feel happy again.”
Ricki Lake Fights To Overcome Loss Of Ex-Husband
It took a while, but inspiring overcomer Ricki Lake finally found joy in her life again. And she’s been sharing her story to help raise awareness about mental illness.
"It's a miracle, but I truly feel on the other side of it," she says. "I will mourn the loss of Christian's beautiful soul every day of my life. But human beings are resilient. And life is precious."
Part of moving forward is challenging yourself in new ways. And so, Ricki Lake, age 50, decided to live out her dream of one day becoming a singer by competing on the special celebrity edition of The X Factor.
“I’m all about reinvention. I’m all about trying new things and proving myself in different ways,” she said in the interview before her X Factor Celebrity audition.
For the audition, the former talk show host chose the song ‘Us’ from James Bay. Behind her moving performance is the pain of Ricki Lake’s loss, which moved the judges as she belted out the powerful words to the song.
"So, tell me how to be in this world
Tell me how to breathe in and feel no hurt
Tell me how ’cause I believe in something
I believe in us
Tell me when the light goes out
That even in the dark we will find a way out
Tell me now ’cause I believe in something
I believe in us"
The emotional audition was a truly beautiful tribute to Ricki’s late love and advanced her to the next round of the competition. Who else was wiping away a tear?
WATCH: Ricki Lake Loss Fuels Emotional Audition On X Factor Celebrity