Former ‘American Idol’ Star CJ Harris, Dead At 31

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CJ Harris, best known for his appearance on American Idol has died.

Sources told TMZ that the Idol alum had been in his hometown of Jasper, Alabama when he suffered a heart attack. Harris was reportedly rushed to the hospital, however, he died shortly after arriving.

Harris first got attention for his audition on the show in 2014. He performed a rendition of the Allman Brothers’ song “Soulshine” that wowed judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr.

Harris went on to perform versions of “Too Close,” “American Woman,” and “Free Fallin'” during his time on the show. He soon became a favorite among the judges. Even after he was voted off the show, they selected him as their wild card entry for the semi-finals of season 13.

Harris made the Top 6 before he was eliminated.

After appearing on the show, Harris went on tour with other Idol contestants. He also performed at the Grand Ol’ Oprey alongside country music star Darius Rucker. Harris had previously cited Rucker as one of his major musical influences.

On Twitter, tributes poured in for the late musician.

Just days before his death, Harris posted photos of himself performing at a festival last year to his Instagram.

He also occasionally posted covers and clips of liver performances to his Instagram account. The most recent one — a cover of The Fray’s “How To Save A Life” — came about two weeks before his death.

Before finding fame on American Idol, The Daily Mail reports that Harris also auditioned for The X Factor and The Voice.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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