The 'American Idol' logo is worn by a worker outside the Regent Hotel, Wall Street, where auditions for 'American Idol' are being held October 24, 2002 in New York City. Mark Mainz/Getty Images


  • C.J. Harris died after suffering an apparent heart attack in Jasper, Alabama, Sunday night
  • The Walker County Coroner confirmed he was rushed to the Walker Baptist Medical Center
  • Harris made it to the top 6 on "American Idol" Season 13 in 2014

"American Idol" alum C.J. Harris, who placed sixth on the show's 13th season in 2014, died Sunday. He was 31.

Harris suffered an apparent heart attack Sunday night and was rushed to a local hospital in Jasper, Alabama, by ambulance, a family member told TMZ.

A spokesperson for the Walker County Coroner confirmed Harris' death, telling People that he was brought to the Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, but CPR efforts were unsuccessful.

An official cause of death has not been released.

Harris first auditioned for the reality singing competition on a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, bus tour. He then sang before and blew away judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. with his rendition of the Allman Brothers hit "Soulshine" in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"You sing 'cause 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," Urban told Harris, who was only 22 years old during the audition.

Following his audition, he also impressed viewers with his powerful versions of "Too Close," "American Woman," and "Free Fallin'." The judges chose him as a wild card in the semi-finals after not receiving enough votes to continue in the competition. He made it to the top 6 before he got eliminated.

Harris told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 that he first auditioned for "American Idol" in 2010 but didn't pass the first round. He also tried out for "The X Factor" and "The Voice" and was unsuccessful.

"I was always on the internet, trying to find a break, looking for which producers I could send my stuff to. I searched for 'American Idol' and I saw they were doing the bus tour and they were going to be 30 minutes down the road from me," he recalled. "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.'"

Jessica Meuse, who also competed in Season 13, paid tribute to Harris via social media following his death and remembered him for his talent and smile.

"My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of fellow @americanidol and friend @cjharrismusic. I'm completely shocked," she began her post on Instagram.

"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," she added.

Meuse explained that joining "American Idol" brings everyone involved together like a "big, weird, dysfunctional family." She said that she was grateful to have known Harris and that he would always be a part of her life.

"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," she added.

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie
The judges of "American Idol" learned about Caleb Lee Hutchinson's weight loss journey during this week's episode. Pictured: Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie of the television show American Idol speak onstage during the ABC Television/Disney portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on Jan. 8, 2018 in Pasadena, California. Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown