CJ Harris, the former American Idol contestant has died at the age of 31 from ‘apparent heart attack’

A family member told TMZ that CJ suffered an apparent heart attack Sunday night in Jasper, Alabama. Although being rushed to a local hospital by ambulance, he didn’t make it. Additional details surrounding his death have not been released.

Who was CJ Harris?

Curtis “CJ” Harris was born on January 28, 1991, in Jasper, Alabama. At the age of eight, he started learning the guitar. 

His earliest musical influences include Usher, Keith Sweat, and Darius Rucker.   

Harris was in the church choir growing up. He reportedly considered himself to have a style similar to The Civil Wars.

Back in 2014, Harris auditioned for the FOX show in Salt Lake City. 

Before placing on the thirteenth season of the series in 2014, he auditioned unsuccessfully for The X-Factor and The Voice. 

He impressed the judges with his rendition of Allman Brothers Band’s Soulshine. Judge Keith Urban told the singer: “You sing because you have to sing, not ’cause you want to sing. And I mean that in the deepest way. And that’s why it’s so believable and real.”

Although he reached the top 6 finalists, he ended up getting eliminated from the lineup. Shortly after reaching the finals, he told The Hollywood Reporter, “I saw they were doing the bus tour and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me. 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.'”

Recently, the singer posted snapshots from his last performance in Alabama. “Photos from the 2022 Frog Level in Fayette, Alabama,” he captioned it.  

Harris reunited with Darius Rucker for a performance at The Grand Ole Opry, post-American Idol. He also participated in American Idol’s season 13 tour and performed at the 2014 Foothills Festival in Jasper.