Recently, a former contestant on American Idol that turned into one of his season’s stars, a singer named CJ Harris, died suddenly and unexpectedly at home. Now we know what he died from thanks to the Walker County Coroner’s Office and Fox News Digital. Fox News, reporting on what happened to Harris, reported that:
“American Idol” alum C.J. Harris’ cause of death has been revealed. The 31-year-old died of a heart attack, a spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner’s Office confirmed to Fox News Digital on Thursday.
Deputy coroner Danielle Calloway said that the singer died on Sunday night after being rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Alabama.
Calloway told Fox News Digital that doctors performed CPR on Harris at the hospital, but the efforts were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead due to a heart attack.
CJ Harris, whose name when born was Curtis Harris, was on American Idol in 2014. During that year’s season, he was a Top 6 contestant, making it into the sem-finals of the show. He also won over many in both the crowd and the judges with his interpretations of Souther Rock classics, namely “Soulchine” by the Allman Brothers Band and “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band.
It was with that rendition of “Soulshine” that CJ impressed the American Idol judges. Keith Urban, after hearing it, told CJ “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.”
What was shocking to many about the audition is that he claimed to have done it on a whim. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter after his rise to fame, Harris said “I saw they were doing the bus tour and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me. I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to give it another chance. I’ve gotten so much better, my voice has matured and my playing has gotten so much better. I’m 23, before you know it I’ll be 33 and I want to give it another chance.‘”
Despite that, he was eliminated in the sixth round, which took place in late April of 2014, and Caleb Johnson won that year.
Jessica Meuse, one of Harris’ competitors on that season of American Idol, posted a tribute to him on Instagram, writing:
“Your talent and smile will be missed, and the world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it. I’ll miss your random phone calls asking for life advice and talking about the music world. When you go through something like Idol together, it brings everyone involved together like a big, weird, dysfunctional family. I’m grateful that our paths crossed and that I can say you were (and always will be) a part of mine. There are a lot of things I realize I will never understand — you leaving us so soon is one of those things. Rest easy, friend. See you on the other side.”
Featured image credit: CJ Harris Facebook
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