C.J. Harris: Cause of Death Revealed for Late American Idol Star


We have an update on the tragic passing of C.J. Harris.

As previously reported, the American Idol alum — who finished in sixth place back in 2014 — was rushed to an Alabama hospital this Sunday and pronounced dead by doctors shortly afterward.

He was only 31 years old.

Based on information relayed on Thursday by a spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner, we can now confirm that Harris passed away from a heart attack.

After he advanced to the semifinals on American Idol years ago — thanks to soulful interpretations of the Southern Rock classic hits “Soulshine” and “Can’t You See” — Harris was eliminated on April 24, 2014.

(The season’s winner was Caleb Johnson.)

“C.J. Harris was an incredible talent, and the news of his passing deeply saddens us. He will be truly missed,” American Idol said in a statement on social media earlier this week.

American Idol finalist CJ Harris passed away at the age of 31. (Photo via Instagram)

Following his impressive run on American Idol, Harris continued his music career, releasing his debut single in 2019 with the song “In Love.”

“I was always on the internet, trying to find a break, looking for which producers I could send my stuff to.

“I searched for American Idol and I saw they were doing the bus tour and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me,” Harris told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, adding that he previously tried out for Idol, The X-Factor and The Voice.

“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.”

In the wake of C.J. passing away, a number of former Idol contestants paid tribute to Harris via social media.

“The world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it,” Season 13 contestant Jessica Meuse wrote on Instagram, adding:

I’m grateful that our paths crossed and that I can say you were (and always will be) a part of mine.

“There are a lot of things I realize I will never understand — you leaving us so soon is one of those things.”

Johnson also posted his thoughts about Harris’ death, writing on Instagram that the news “hurts so much,” while reflecting on their time as roommates during Hollywood week.

“We instantly became friends and formed a brotherhood pack with @realalexpreston @samwoolfmusic,” the former champion said.

“So many amazing memories and experiences with you CJ! Life is so fragile! I am so grateful that our lives got to cross paths in this lifetime.

“You were a beautiful, kind soul that always made the room brighter with your smile and laughter.

“Love you brother you were taken from us way to soon! Until we meet again RIP.”

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