American Idol contestant CJ Harris died at the age of 31 on Sunday.
The artist seemed to suffer a heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in his hometown of Jasper, Alabama.
Shortly after arriving in the emergency room the crooner – whose full name is Curtis ‘CJ’ Harris – was pronounced dead, according to a Monday report from TMZ.
The singer performed on the reality TV show in 2014, making it to the top six. He subsequently struck up a friendship with Darius Rucker, who became his mentor.
A family member spoke to the site sharing the family was in shock over his passing.
His road to Idol was bumpy.
Harris first auditioned for The X-Factor and The Voice, but was not successful. That is when he turned his attention to American Idol where he made a big impression during the 13th season which took place in 2014.
The judges at the time with Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban.
He auditioned first in Tuscaloosa then in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Harris impressed judges with his rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s classic hit tune Soulshine.
Judge Urban 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.’
Then CJ sang Too Close, American Woman, and Free Fallin’.
He made it all the way to sixth place.
In 2014 he told The Hollywood Reporter he auditioned for American Idol on a whim. ‘I saw they were doing the bus tour and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me,’ he began.
He then added, ‘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,”‘ he shared.
He found success after Idol as well, performing at the Grand Ole Opry with Darius Rucker after a move to Nashville.
And he was a part of American Idol’s season 13 tour.
Harris had shared that he came from simple beginnings.
At age eight, he started learning how to play the guitar on a broken one that his grandfather gave him. It had only three strings but was enough to get him hooked on music. He also sang in the church choir and learned how to play the piano.
Some of his influences were John Legend, John Mayer, and Keith Urban.
Before American Idol he recorded an album titled Small Town Boy as an independent musician.
Jessica Meuse, who competed on season 13 of Idol alongside Harris, shared a heartfelt tribute.
‘Your talent and smile will be missed, and the world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it,’ she wrote. ‘I’ll miss your random phone calls asking for life advice and talking about the music world… There are a lot of things I realize I will never understand — you leaving us so soon is one of those things.’
img src=”https://i.imgur.com/hvQ87ws.jpg” alt=”American Idol contestant CJ Harris dies of heart attack at age 31″ class=”width-100 aligncenter” />
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