JASPER, AL—Former “American Idol” contestant, CJ Harris died on Sunday, January 15 of an apparent heart attack as first reported by the family to TMZ.
A spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Harris died after he was rushed to Walker County Medical Center in Jasper for what was referred to as “a medical emergency.”
He earned fame on the reality singing competition, “American Idol ” during its 13th season. He competed when country legend, Keith Urban, singer Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr. served as judges in 2014. Harris awed the audience with his version of, “Too Close,” “American Woman,” and the Allman Brothers, “Soulshine.”
Urban told the rising star, “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.”
Harris ended his run in 6th place. Following his time on the series, he played with Darius Rucker at The Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee. Rucker was an idol of Harris’. He reportedly told TMZ that Rucker had, “a massive influence on his style.”
Harris started playing and singing at a young age after his grandfather gifted him his first guitar. He leaves behind two children.