Former American Idol contestant C.J. Harris, who placed sixth on the show’s 13th season in 2014, has passed away. He was 31.
TMZ reports Harris died on Sunday after suffering an apparent heart attack. The Alabama native was rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, where he was later pronounced dead. Although Harris’ death was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner’s Office, an official cause of death has not yet been released.
Jessica Meuse, who starred alongside Harris on season 13 of Idol, took to Instagram on Monday to share a tribute to C.J.
“Your talent and smile will be missed, and the world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it,” she wrote. “I’ll miss your random phone calls asking for life advice and talking about the music world… There are a lot of things I realize I will never understand — you leaving us so soon is one of those things.”
After finishing sixth on season 13 of Idol, Harris toured with the rest of the cast that summer. His debut single, “In Love,” was released in 2019.
In 2014, Harris spoke about his experience on the hit Fox series in an interview with AL.com.
“I grew up in the church, playing gospel music and singing in the choir. I guess I was a little nervous to go on Idol, because I didn’t know if I was prepared. I didn’t have the training,” Harris said at the time. “Now, when I get on stage in front of these crowds, it doesn’t matter if I have my eyes closed. I don’t have to keep a camera view. I can calm down, relax and be myself. Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to see those lights on stage. Every time I get into my bed right after a show, I still can’t believe I’ve been on stage. I’m having a lot more fun than I did on the TV show.”
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