Former “American Idol” contestant C.J. Harris died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday in his hometown of Jasper.
Harris, 31, made it to the popular singing competition television show’s Top 6 round in 2014. After judges eliminated him from the show, Harris performed with Darius Rucker at the Grand Ole Opry and later played for the show’s season 13 tour.
According to reports, Harris passed away at the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper. He received CPR, but medical professionals pronounced him deceased shortly after. Family members told TMZ that Harris had died of a heart attack.
Harris had previously been charged by the Walker County Sheriff's Office with controlled substance distribution in 2016 for allegedly selling marijuana and Oxycodone. He pleaded guilty to possession in 2017. Reports state an autopsy on Harris has already been performed, but an official cause of death has not been released.
Several former “American Idol” contestants took to social media to mourn his death, including Jessica Meuse, who competed with Harris in the 13th season.
"My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of fellow American Idol and friend CJ Harris. I’m completely shocked," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Your talent and smile will be missed, and the world is definitely a darker and eerily quieter place without you in it. I’ll miss your random phone calls asking for life advice and talking about the music world. When you go through something like Idol together, it brings everyone involved together like a big, weird, dysfunctional family. 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. Rest easy, friend. See you on the other side."
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