“American Idol” alum CJ Harris died Sunday after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 31.
Harris, who competed on the singing competition series in 2014, was rushed to a hospital in Jasper, Ala., where he later died, according to a family member who spoke to TMZ Monday.
Harris came in sixth place on “Idol” after stunning judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. with his rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s song “Soulshine” during his audition.
“You sing because you have to sing, not because you want to sing,” Urban told Harris at the time. “And I mean that in the deepest way. And that’s why it’s so believable and real.”
The judges were so impressed with Harris that they decided to save him in the semi-finals after he failed to receive enough votes to advance, but Caleb Johnson went on to win Season 13.
Harris’ decision to audition for “Idol” came on a whim after he was turned way from “The X Factor” and “The Voice.”
“I saw they were doing the bus tour, and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2014.
“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.”‘
Following his success on the Fox show, Harris — whose full name was Curtis Harris — performed with his mentor Darius Rucker and on the “American Idol” tour.
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