Ex-‘American Idol’ Stars Pay Tribute After Finalist Dies
A number of former American Idol stars have paid tribute after the death of 2014 contestant C.J. Harris on Sunday night. He was 31.
His family told TMZ Harris suffered a heart attack late Sunday night while in Jasper, Alabama.
He was taken to the hospital, but he didn’t make it, according to the outlet. He was pronounced dead at 8:53 p.m.
Harris’ death was also confirmed by a spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner’s Office, according to Complex, but did not cite an official cause of death. It was then confirmed in a social media post by American Idol.
In an Instagram Story, American Idol posted: “C.J. Harris was an incredible talent, and the news of his passing deeply saddens us. He will truly be missed.”
Harris competed in the singing competition’s 13th season, where he placed sixth. During his audition, 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.”
Caleb Johnson, who won Harris’ season, posted a tribute on Twitter. “Absolutely tragic you were taken from us way to soon . Love you brother.”
Absolutely tragic 🥲 you were taken from us way to soon . Love you brother @CJHarrisMusic pic.twitter.com/iXpLARCKY7
— Caleb Perry Johnson (@CalebJohnson) January 16, 2023
Jessica Meuse, who placed fourth on season 13 of Idol, shared a tribute to Harris where she described her shock at the news.
“My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of fellow @americanidol and friend @cjharrismusic. I’m completely shocked,” she wrote.
“Your talent and smile will be missed, and the world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it. I’ll miss your random phone calls asking for life advice and talking about the music world. When you go through something like Idol together, it brings everyone involved together like a big, weird, dysfunctional family.”
Sam Woolf, who placed fifth, wrote: “Cj was such a genuine and loving person. We became close friends during the show and were roommates on the tour. I’m very grateful to have gone through that incredible experience with him alongside Caleb and Alex. My thoughts go out to his family. Rest easy my dude.”
Alex Preston, who came in third place, posted a throwback video where a number of finalists, including Harris, “tied me to the door and pranked me in a daze. I wish we talked more often in our later years. Last time we talked I mixed some stems for him, and he sounded so good. RIP bro.”
Harris released his debut single, “In Love,” in 2019. On Jan. 2, on his official Facebook page, he posted a message to fans promoting new music “coming soon.”
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