Kate Cook, one of the final 10 Australian Idol 2009 contestants, signs autographs for fans before a free concert as part of the 2009 Toyota AFL Grand Final Week at Federation Square on September 23, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. (Hannah Mason/WireImage)
A popular former reality TV contestant has been found dead near her home on Monday morning.
Kate Cook, who rose to prominence on the series "Australian Idol," was discovered in bushland near her Lowood home after police were notified of her disappearance by concerned friends on Sunday night, Nine.com.au reports.
Police are not treating her death as suspicious at this stage.
The country music singer competed on "Australian Idol" in 2009, where she made it into the top six before being eliminated.
Prior to "Australian Idol," Cook had worked in an abattoir cutting meat and grew up on a property surrounded by music.
Top 12 Australian Idol finalist Kate Cook performs live during day 2 of Magazines Go Live as part of the 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty at the Royal Hall of Industries on September 12, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
“Mum always played the guitar and when I was 10 years old she taught me a couple of chords,” she told the Queensland Times in 2013.
“After that, I was always taking the guitar out to the paddock to play, which later developed into a passion for songwriting.”
During her time on the show, Cook won fans with a slew of memorable performances, which included The Dixie Chicks song “Landslide”.
For her audition, Cook performed an original song “Make You Stay” that paid tribute to her mother, who took her own life when the singer was just a teenager. “Two days before I turned 17 my younger sister and I found her. She committed suicide, so it was pretty tough,” Cook told the judges before singing.
“I’ve had a long road to sort of find myself after being lost for a long time. So I sort found myself through strength and music.”
After appearing on "Idol" Cook pursued a career in music, touring pubs and clubs across Australia.
But she told the Queensland Times she had found it difficult to carve out a career without a publicist or manager.
“Once you’re out of the 'Australian Idol' spotlight, you soon lose the support network of people who helped you during the show,” Cook said.
“It took a lot of hard work and help from my sister Paula — who managed me for two years — to keep my music career going.
“But I’m extremely humbled by what Idol did for me and overwhelmed with how the country music industry has opened its arms to me.”
Cook also credited music with helping her get through tough moments in her life.
“Music has helped heal me during difficult times, so I hope that my music helps do the same for others,” she said.
Fellow Idol contestant and country music singer Casey Barnes has paid tribute to his “beautiful” friend on Twitter.