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How did CJ Harris die? 2014 'American Idol' star, 31, dies after being rushed to the hospital

Following an incredible Season 13 audition, CJ rocked America with powerful versions of 'Too Close', 'American Woman' and 'Free Fallin'
UPDATED JAN 16, 2023
CJ Harris made it to the top 6 in 'American Idol' Season13  (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CJ Harris made it to the top 6 in 'American Idol' Season13 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

JASPER, ALABAMA: Former "American Idol" contestant CJ Harris has died at the age of 31. The singer was rushed to the emergency room in Jasper, Alabama in an ambulance on Monday, January 16. Doctors pronounced him dead shortly after arrival.

Curtis 'CJ' Harris performed in the reality TV show in 2014 and made it to the top 6. Following an incredible audition, CJ rocked America with powerful versions of 'Too Close', 'American Woman' and 'Free Fallin', TMZ wrote. 


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Despite not receiving enough votes, Harris entered the semifinals as a wild card. He made it all the way to the top 6 before being eliminated. He also struck a friendship with Darius Rucker, who eventually became his mentor.

Harris had unsuccessfully auditioned for 'The X-Factor' and 'The Voice' before turning his attention to 'American Idol', where he made a big impression during Season 13. He had an audition in Salt Lake City, Utah, after one in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Harris won over the judges with his interpretation of 'Soulshine', a classic hit song by the Allman Brothers Band.

How did CJ Harris die?

Harris's untimely demise has left his family in shock. Reports suggest he suffered a heart attack, but an official cause of death is awaited. Before 'American Idol', the singer recorded an album titled 'Small Town Boy' as an independent musician. He found success after 'Idol' as well, performing at the Grand Ole Opry with Darius Rucker after a move to Nashville.

"Happy New Years! New music coming soon!," CJ wrote in his last Facebook post on New Year's day while also sharing his smiling picture. A fan recently commented, "I'm in shock. Doesn't even seem real. Thank you for all the amazing late night Tik Tok lives when we'd all get together and sing! And I'll never ever forget all the kind encouraging words you'd give me on my singing. and those DMS always checking up seeing how I was doing. Or the times when you was at my uncle's house singing and playing guitar. Once you started you got down with it. Your heart and soul for music was a force to reckon with. I just can't seem to shake this. You're the best Rip in heaven Cj .gone to soon."


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