C.J. Harris ‘Former American Idol Contestant’ Dies At 31

C.J. Harris, who was on Season 13 of “American Idol” and finished sixth overall, died Sunday at age 31 after a medical emergency, a Walker County Coroner spokesperson told USA TODAY.

A family member told TMZ that Harris had a heart attack. This was the first time the news was made public.

No official reason for death has been given.

C.J. Harris 'Former American Idol Contestant' Dies At 31
C.J. Harris ‘Former American Idol Contestant’ Dies At 31

In 2014, Harris auditioned by singing “Soul Shine” by the Allman Brothers. At the time, judge Keith Urban said, “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.” Harris went on to sing songs including John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change,” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and Darius Rucker’s “Radio” before finishing in sixth place. He released his debut single, “In Love,” in 2019.

In a 2014 interview with AL.com, the man from Alabama talked about how his time on “American Idol” changed him.

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“I grew up in the church, where I sang in the choir and played gospel music. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go on “Idol,” so I guess I was a little nervous. Harris said at the time, “I didn’t have the skills.” “Now, it doesn’t matter if I close my eyes on stage in front of all these people. I don’t have to look through the camera. I can relax and just be myself. I’ve wanted to see those lights on stage since I was a little boy. I still can’t believe I’ve been on stage when I get into bed right after a show. I’m having much more fun now than I was on TV.”

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