C.J. Harris, Former 'American Idol' Contestant, Dead at 31

C.J. Harris
FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Harris placed sixth on the show's 13th season in 2014.

C.J. Harris, a former contestant on American Idol who placed sixth on the show's 13th season, has died. He was 31.

TMZ, who was first to report the news, said Harris was taken to a local hospital in Jasper, Alabama Sunday night, after suffering a medical emergency. The Walker County Coroner's office confirmed to People that Harris died that same evening. An official cause of death for the singer is not yet known.

Harris first auditioned for American Idol in 2010, and also tried out unsuccessfully for The X-Factor and The Voice before returning to Idol in 2014, where he impressed the judges with his rendition of The Allman Brothers' "Soulshine."

He was lauded by Keith Urban who praised the powerful performance.

"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," the former Idol judge said at the time.

After ending up in season 13's top ten, Harris went on to perform with other contestants on the American Idol's live tour. He also got the chance to perform alongside Darius Rucker -- one of his musical influences -- at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014. Harris released his debut single, "In Love," in 2019.

According to a Facebook post shared by Harris Jan. 1, the singer was working on new music.

"Happy New Years!  New music coming soon!," he captioned the New Year's Day selfie.

Following news of his death, Harris was remembered by fellow Season 13 contestant, Jessica Meuse, who paid tribute to the singer in a post shared to Instagram Monday.

"My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of fellow @americanidol and friend @cjharrismusic. I’m completely shocked. 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. When you go through something like Idol together, it brings everyone involved together like a big, weird, dysfunctional family," Meuse wrote.

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