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Former American Idol contestant CJ Harris dies suddenly aged 31

Singer died of an apparent heart attack

Louis Chilton
Monday 16 January 2023 21:31 GMT
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Former American Idol contestant CJ Harris dies suddenly aged 31

CJ Harris, a former contestant on American Idol, has reportedly died at the age of 31.

The musician, whose full name is Curtis Harris, is said to have been rushed to hospital in Jasper, Alabama after suffering an apparent heart attack on Sunday (15 January) night.

A family member confirmed to TMZ that Harris was subsequently pronounced dead.

During his time on the 2014 season of the popular US reality show, Harris made it through to the top six.

Among the songs he covered on the show were “Soulshine” by the Allman Brothers Band, “Too Close”, and “American Woman”.

He was selected by the judges to progress through to the Top Six after making it through to the semi-finals.

At the time, the show’s judges were Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban, the lattermost of whom described Harris’s singing as “believable and real”.

“You sing ‘cause you have to sing, not ‘cause you want to sing,” he said. “And I mean that in the deepest way.”

Harris first auditioned for the series in Tuscaloosa, then in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The singer later revealed in interviews that he had initially auditioned for the series on a whim.

Jessica Meuse, another contestant on American Idol alongside Harris, shared a tribute to the artist on social media.

“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 realise I will never understand – you leaving us so soon is one of those things.”

Fans of Harris also shared tributes to the late singer on social media after news of his death broke.

“Incredibly sad,” one person wrote. “I remember watching him on his season. Far far too young.”

“He seemed like a really good guy. That’s awful,” wrote another.

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