Tragic news from the music world today following the sudden passing of singer and former American Idol finalist CJ Harris.
The Alabama native was just 31 years old.
Details regarding Harris’ death are scarce at this time, but TMZ reports he died of a heart attack.
Harris was at his home in Jasper, Alabama at the time of the attack.
Sources said he was taken to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to revive him.
A fan favorite during the Idol era, Harris was one of the top six finalists on the 2014 show.
Harris entered the competition by wowing the judges with a moving rendition of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Soulshine.”
Harris was clearly honored to meet Keith Urban, who had such a big impact on his life and music.
“You sing because you have to, not because you want to,” Urban said after seeing Harris perform.
“And I mean it in the deepest sense, and that’s why it’s so believable and real.”
Harris has become a fan favorite not only for his excellent singing voice, but also for his inspiring stories.
After being rejected by both The X Factor and The Voice, he auditioned for Idol.
“I saw them doing a bus tour. They were going half an hour ahead of me,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014.
“I said, ‘You know what?
“I’m 23. Before I know it, I’m 33. I’d like to give it another chance.”
And while he may not have won the competition, in many ways Harris’ dreams came true as a result of his time on Idol.
In addition to performing for millions of viewers on the show, Harris was invited to join Idol Tour Productions after the season ended.
That meant performing on stage with Darius Rucker, a singer Harris said was his greatest influence.
On Twitter, longtime idol fans are paying tribute to Harris’ charisma and immense talent.
Sadly, the debate over his life has been heavily hijacked by theories about his cause of death, with many speculating it was the result of the Covid-19 vaccine.
To be clear, we have no evidence of that at this time, and we don’t even know if Harris was vaccinated.
“I certainly wanted CJ to be remembered for his music and talent.
Hopefully everyone can follow that wish and refrain from speculation for at least a few days.
My condolences to the Harris family during this very difficult time.