Tragic news out of the music world today, as singer and former former American Idol finalist CJ Harris has passed away unexpectedly.
The Alabama native was just 31 years old.
Details about Harris’ death are scarce at present, but TMZ is reporting that he died of a heart attack.
Harris was at home in Jasper, Alabama at the time of the attack.
Sources say he was rushed to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to revive him.
A fan favorite during his time on Idol, Harris was among the show’s top six finalists in 2014.
Harris made his way into the competition by wowing the judges with a stirring rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Soulshine.”
Harris was visibly honored to meet Keith Urban, whom he described as a major influence on his life and music.
“You sing ’cause you have to sing, not ’cause you want to sing,” Urban remarked after watching Harris perform.
“And, I mean that in the deepest way. And, that’s why it’s so believable and real.”
Harris became a fan favorite not only because of his stellar singing voice, but also because of his inspirational story.
He auditioned for Idol after being rejected by both 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,” Harris explained.
“I’m 23, before you know it I’ll be 33, and I want to give it another chance.’”
And while he may not have won the competition, in many ways, Harris’ dreams came true as a result of his time on Idol.
In addition to performing for millions of viewers on the show, Harris was invited to join the Idol touring production after his season came to a close.
That meant playing on stage alongside Darius Rucker, a singer whom Harris described as his biggest influence.
On Twitter, longtime Idol fans have been paying tribute to Harris’ charisma and enormous talent.
Sadly, the discussion regarding his life has largely been hijacked by theories about the cause of his death, with many speculating that it was a result of the Covid-19 vaccine.
To be clear, there’s no evidence of that at this point, and we don’t even know if Harris was vaccinated.
“I’m Certain CJ Wanted To Be Remembered For His Music… & Talents‼️ Let’s Just Honor That,” one fan tweeted.
Hopefully, everyone can abide by that wish and hold off on the speculation for at least a few days.
Our thoughts go out to the Harris family during this enormously difficult time.