SAD NEWS: ‘American Idol’ Contestant C.J. Harris Dead at 31

So many young people dying 🙁. Prayers for the family.

Curtis “C.J.” Harris, who competed on American Idol in 2014, has passed away.

He was 31.

A spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner confirmed the death to PEOPLE.

Harris was reportedly rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Alabama on Sunday, where CPR efforts were unsuccessful.

A family member told TMZ that he suffered an apparent heart attack.

The singing competition alum placed sixth in the show’s 13th season.

While he initially auditioned for the series on a Tuscaloosa bus tour, he went on to wow judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. with his rendition of the Allman Brothers’ “Soulshine” in Salt Lake City.


The father of two dedicated the performance to his father, who died shortly before he made it onto the show.

Urban told Harris at the time: “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.”

The judges were so impressed with him that they even saved him in the semi-finals.

Harris went on to perform with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry, joined the “American Idol Tour,” released his first single—titled “In Love”— in 2019, and has been sharing his music with fans on social media.

In a special New Year’s Day post on Facebook, the musician updated fans with his plans for the new year, which included “new music coming soon.” It was his final post.

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