Some heartbreaking news coming from the American Idol world today.
Former Idol contestant and country artist CJ Harris passed away from a heart attack last night in his hometown of Jasper, Alabama. He was only 31-years-old.
According to TMZ,Harris was taken to a local hospital by ambulance, but didn’t make it.
Harris auditioned for the show in 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he performed an incredible rendition of the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine.”
After his performance, judge Keith Urban told Harris:
“You sing ’cause you have to sing, not ’cause you want to sing. And, I mean that in the deepest way. And, that’s why it’s so believable and real.”
During his time on American Idol, he covered a number of songs with his own country spin, like The Steeldrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” and more.
Harris was chosen as a wild card by the judges after not receiving enough votes in the semi-finals, and ultimately made it all the way to the top six before he was eliminated.
After his stint on Idol, he performed with Darius Rucker at The Grand Ole Opry, who Harris pointed to as one of his biggest inspirations. In 2019, he released his debut single, “In Love”.
He also performed for audiences on the show’s Season 13 Tour.