Another American Idol alum is gone far too soon. C.J. Harris died on Jan. 15 after seemingly suffering a heart attack at the age of 31, according to TMZ. A family member for the singer confirmed that C.J. was rushed to the hospital in Alabama, but did not survive.
C.J. was a contestant on season 13 of American Idol, which aired back in 2014. He made it to the top 20 but did not automatically advance with the public’s vote that round. Instead, he was one of three contestants who was pushed through to the top 13 as a judges’ wild card pick. Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. were the judges that season.
As the competition continued after that, C.J. began to blow away viewers with his performances. He made it through eight more weeks of competition during the live shows. However, he was eventually eliminated, finishing the season in 6th place. Caleb Johnson went on to win the season.
C.J. had previously auditioned for American Idol in 2010. He also had failed auditions on The Voice and The X-Factor before his successful season on Idol. C.J. moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music after American Idol. He had the chance to perform with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry, and he released his debut single in 2019.
C.J. made his last Instagram post on Jan. 13, sharing photos from a performance he did in his home state of Alabama in 2022. On New Year’s Eve, he shared a hopeful message ahead of the New Year in another Instagram post, writing, “New things to come in year 2023!” He also included a selfie of himself with the optimistic messages.
C.J.’s social media profile features various videos of himself performing song covers, and his passion was clearly still for music in the weeks leading up to his unexpected death.
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