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C.J. Harris’ Cause of Death Revealed Following Sudden Passing

todayJanuary 19, 2023

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C.J. Harris’ cause of death was made public on Thursday (Jan. 19), less than a week after his sudden and tragic passing.


The singer died at just 31-years-old after suffering a heart attack on Sunday (Jan. 15), according to reporting by People. (Billboard has reached out to the Walker County Coroner’s Office in Harris’ native Alabama for confirmation.)

Harris first made waves across the nation by competing on Season 13 of American Idol in 2014, when he auditioned for judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and newcomer Harry Connick Jr. with a cover of “Soulshine” by The Allman Brothers Band. After earning his golden ticket, he progressed through Hollywood week and the semifinals to become one of the three Wild Card contenders to make the season’s crop of 13 finalists.

During the live shows, Harris often performed with his trusty guitar, churning out country-soul covers of Darius Rucker’s “Radio,” “Can’t You See” by Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band, Hunter Hayes’ “Invisible,” The SteelDrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” and more. Eventually, he was eliminated in sixth place behind eventual winner Caleb Johnson, runner-up Jena Irene and fellow finalists Alex Preston, Jessica Meuse and Sam Woolf.

Following his stint on Idol, Harris embarked on the post-season American Idols LIVE! Tour 2014 with the rest of the top 10 and even duetted with Rucker — one of his major inspirations — at the Grand Ole Opry. In 2016, the singer faced legal troubles after being arrested in a drug bust in Walker, Ala., where he was charged with three counts of alleged felony distribution of a controlled substance, including oxycodone and marijuana. His debut single, “In Love” was released in 2019, and just weeks before his death he hinted at new music he was planning to release later this year.

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todayJanuary 19, 2023

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