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

C.J. Harris, a singer and musician who was a prominent contender on the 13th season of Fox’s “American Idol,” died Sunday after suffering a medical emergency and being rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Ala. He was 31.

Harris’ death was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner’s Office. No further details regarding a cause of death are available at this time.

Harris first auditioned for “American Idol” in 2010, also seeking out spots on other reality competition series like “The X-Factor” and “The Voice.” The singer found his foothold on Fox’s series in 2014, making a strong impression on judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. with a performance of the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine.”

Harris would maintain momentum through following episodes, even inspiring a save from the judges during the semi-finals. He eventually placed in sixth for the season.

Following his time on “American Idol,” Harris performed alongside his “Idol” peers on the series’ subsequent live tour. He performed with Darius Rucker, one of his musical influences, at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014.

Harris released his debut single, “In Love,” in 2019. At the start of the New Year, the artist stated that he would be releasing new music, teasing new work through his official Facebook page.

Born in 1991 in Jasper, Ala., Harris was inspired to pursue music at a young age; his grandfather gifted him a guitar when he was still a child.

Harris was a father of two children.

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