‘American Idol’ Alum CJ Harris Dies at 31

CJ Harris on 'American Idol'
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Singer and former American Idol contestant CJ Harris has died. The performer was just 31 years old.

News of Harris’ death was announced by TMZ, to whom one of the singer’s family members revealed that the young talent had a heart attack. Taken to the hospital by ambulance, Harris didn’t survive the cardiac event.

Ryan Seacrest and CJ Harris on 'American Idol'

(Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Harris was best known for making a splash during American Idol‘s thirteenth season, which aired on Fox in 2014. He was critiqued by Season 13’s panel of judges, which included Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., and he made it to the Top 6 but was ultimately eliminated before the tail end of the competition.

Fans of the show may recall that Harris auditioned in Salt Lake City, where he blew the judges away with his rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s song “Soulshine.” It was through American Idol that many doors opened for the aspiring star who met and performed with Darius Rucker on the show before doing so post-Idol at the Grand Ole Opry.

Along with participating in Idol‘s Season 13 tour, Harris performed at the 2014 Foothills Festival in his hometown of Jasper before moving to Nashville, where he lived as roommates with some of his fellow Idol finalists. Throughout his American Idol experience, Harris performed songs including John Mayer‘s “Gravity,” “Free Fallin’,” and “American Woman,” among many others that impressed the viewers and judges alike.

In 2019 he released his debut single, “In Love,” and continued to perform live publicly in the years since.