Tributes have flooded in for former ‘American Idol’ contestant, CJ Harris, who died on Monday (January 16) at the age of 31. TMZ reported that the father-of-two was rushed to the hospital after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
Harris originally auditioned for ‘American Idol’ in 2010, as well as other reality competition shows such as ‘The X-Factor’ and ‘The Voice.’ The singer got his start on the popular Fox show in 2014 for its 13th season, when he performed the Allman Brothers’ "Soulshine" for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr.
Harris’ momentum would carry over into consecutive episodes, prompting the judges to save him at the semi-finals that saw him finish the season in sixth position. Following his appearance on ‘American Idol’, Harris joined his fellow contestants on the series’ subsequent live tour.
In 2014, the Alabama-born singer shared the stage with one of his musical heroes, Darius Rucker, whom he said was a massive influence on his style. Harris’ debut single, "In Love," was released in 2019. The singer announced at the start of the New Year that he would be releasing new songs and promised new work was to come on his official Facebook page.
American Idol is among those who expressed condolences on social media. It tweeted: “C.J. Harris was an incredible talent, and the news of his passing deeply saddens us. He will be truly missed.”
A fellow singer and fan, Stormy Dodd wrote on his Facebook page: “I’m in shock. Doesn’t even seem real. Thank you for all the amazing late night Tik Tok lives when we’d all get together and sing! And I’ll never ever forget all the kind encouraging words you’d give me on my singing.and those DMS always checking up seeing how I was doing.
“Or the times when you were at my uncle’s house singing and playing guitar. Once you started you got down with it. Your heart and soul for music was a force to reckon with. I just can’t seem to shake this. You’re the best. Rip in heaven CJ. Gone too soon.”