Former 'American Idol' Contestant CJ Harris Dies At 31 & He Had New Music Coming Soon

An Idol alum who competed alongside Harris says she's "completely shocked."

CJ Harris.
Associate Editor

CJ Harris.

C.J. Harris, who competed on the 13th season of American Idol in 2014, has reportedly died at the age of 31.

Harris died on Sunday after he was rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Alabama, PEOPLE reports.

A spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner told the outlet CPR efforts were unsuccessful.

According to TMZ, Harris died from a heart attack.

Singer Jessica Meuse who competed alongside Harris in 2014 posted a tribute to the musician.

"My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of fellow @americanidol and friend @cjharrismusic. I’m completely shocked," Meuse wrote in an Instagram post on Monday.

"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," she continued.

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

Caleb Johnson, who won the season Harris competed on, also posted a tribute to the late musician on his Instagram page.

"This hurts so much. CJ was my roommate on @americanidol during Hollywood week and then lived right next door to me and @realalexpreston during the live shows," Johnson wrote.

"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."

Harris performed his rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s song “Soulshine” for the judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. during his audition in 2014.

He got three yeses and moved through to the Hollywood round.

CJ Harris ~ Soul Shine ~ American Idol 2014 Auditions, Salt Lake City (HD)

According to the New York Post, Harris performed other popular covers during his time on American Idol, including "Too Close," "American Woman" and "Free Fallin'."

He made it to the top six in the show before getting eliminated.

On January 1, Harris posted on Facebook that he had new music coming soon.

Harris isn't the only American Idol alum who has died recently.

Willie Spence, who was the runner-up in the show's 19th season, died in a car crash in October 2022 at the age of 23.

Asymina Kantorowicz
Associate Editor
Asymina Kantorowicz is an Associate Lifestyle Editor for Narcity Media focused on health and entertainment news and is based in Victoria, British Columbia.