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'American Idol' tragedies: CJ Harris' death marks reality TV show's painful history -
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Kelly Clarkson reunites with

‘American Idol’ tragedies: CJ Harris’ death marks reality TV show’s painful history

The recent death of singer CJ Harris has shocked the “American Idol” community as another musician’s hopes and dreams of making it big were now dashed.

Harris died on Sunday, Jan. 15, in Jasper, Alabama, at the age of 31.

The musicians cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

A spokesperson for “American Idol” confirmed his death to Fox News Digital, and the “Idol” team shared their deepest condolences on Instagram.

CJ HARRIS, FORMER ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ CANDIDATE, DEAD AT 31

“American Idol” contestants Nikki McKibbin, CJ Harris and Willie Spence are the last contestants on the show who have died.
(Getty Pictures)

“CJ Harris was an incredible talent, and the news of his passing saddens us deeply,” they wrote. “He will be truly missed.”

Harris participated in the 13th season of the reality show program and finished in sixth place. Caleb Johnson won the series, which aired in 2014.

After her “Idol” debut, Harris released her debut single, “In Love,” in 2019.

‘AMERICAN IDOL’ JUDGES HONOR WILLIE SPENCE AS 911 CALLS DETAIL LATE SINGER’S HORRIBLE CAR ACCIDENT

In October 2022, Willie Spence was killed in a car accident at the age of 23.

Spence was the runner-up for season 19, which premiered in February 2021 and country singer Chayce Beckham was crowned the winner.

"american idol" Competitor CJ Harris died on Sunday.  He was 31 years old.

American Idol contestant CJ Harris died Sunday. He was 31 years old.
(FOX Picture Collection)

CJ Harris was recalled by "american idol" team on Instagram on Monday.

CJ Harris was remembered by the “American Idol” team on Instagram on Monday.
(American Idol/Instagram)

Willie died following a car accident in Jasper, Tennessee.

His 2019 Jeep Cherokee collided with the back of a tractor-trailer after leaving the freeway, and he was pronounced dead upon arrival, Lt. Bobby Clevenger told Fox News Digital at the time.

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“The medical examiner was called from the scene,” he said.

“Idol” judge Katy Perry honored Spence shortly after his death. “I love you Willie… purest soul. Sing with the angels my dear,” she wrote.

“We are devastated by the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence,” the show shared in a statement. “He was a real talent that lit up every room he walked in and he will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones.”

Judge Luke Bryan agreed and tweeted, “Willie really lit up every room he walked in. He could change the mood instantly when he started singing. We will really miss him.”

"american idol" finalist Willie Spence died in October 2022.

‘American Idol’ finalist Willie Spence died in October 2022.
(Eric McCandless)

Willie Spence sings with Leona Lewis on "american idol" final.

Willie Spence sings with Leona Lewis on the ‘American Idol’ finale.
(Eric McCandless)

Prior to Spence’s death, Nikki McKibbin was the most recent “American Idol” contestant who lost her life after the show. She died of a brain aneurysm in November 2020 at the age of 42.

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Her husband, Craig Sadler, confirmed her death on Facebook and shared that McKibbin had been kept on life support so her organs could be harvested to donate to others.

“Many of you already know something is wrong. The love of my life Nikki Sadler suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday. She would have gone by now, but she is an organ donor and has been kept on life support for make it possible”, he wrote on social media. “It shouldn’t surprise us. Even in the end, she still gives.”

McKibbin appeared on the first season of “Idol” and came in third place behind Justin Guarini and winner Kelly Clarkson.

She had success as a rock singer and appeared on numerous reality shows, including “Fear Factor” and “Battle of the Network Reality Stars.”

Nikki McKibbin participated in the first season of "American idol."

Nikki McKibbin participated in the first season of “American Idol”.
(Jeffrey Mayer)

Nikki McKibbin, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini perform first "American idol."

Nikki McKibbin, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini perform on the first “American Idol”.
(Kevin Winter)

McKibbin also faced personal demons and joined “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2008 to receive treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

In 2014, she returned to “Idol” in a unique way – to support her son, Tristen Cole Lanley, who made it all the way to Hollywood auditions.

Michael Johns, a singer who appeared in season seven in 2008, died in August 2014 at the age of 35.

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Johns, who was born in Australia, is believed to have died of dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that restricted blood flow to his body and caused his heart to enlarge.

“I have just heard the very sad news of the death of Michael Johns. A really wonderful guy. Rest in peace Michael”, had tweeted then the judge Simon Cowell.

Leah LaBelle and her husband, former NBA player Rasual Butler, were killed in a solo car crash in Southern California in 2018. She was 31.

Rasual Butler and Leah LaBelle were killed in a solo collision in 2018.

Rasual Butler and Leah LaBelle were killed in a solo collision in 2018.
(Paul Zimmerman)

Hayley Smith appeared on season 11 of American Idol.

Hayley Smith appeared on season 11 of American Idol.
(American Idol)

LaBelle appeared in the third season of “Idol” in 2004 and finished in 12th place, competing against Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo and Jennifer Hudson.

Haley Smith died in 2019 after being involved in a solo motorcycle accident in Maine. The 26-year-old singer was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Smith stunned the judges in 2012 when she performed Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good” during her Season 11 audition in Colorado.

Judge Steven Tyler told Smith it was an honor to hear her sing because she seemed to have been taken out of her “era” with her look and sound.

Rickey E. Smith Jr., who competed in season two, also died in a car crash.

The musician was killed in an oncoming multi-vehicle crash in Oklahoma City in 2016. He was 36.

Michael Johns appeared in the seventh season of "Idol" in 2008. He died in 2014 at the age of 35.

Michael Johns appeared in the seventh season of “Idol” in 2008. He died in 2014 at the age of 35.
(Jason LaVeris)

Joanne Borgella died in 2014 after battling cancer.

Joanne Borgella died in 2014 after battling cancer.
(Bennett Raglin)

Joanne Borgella lost her battle with endometrial cancer in 2017 at the age of 32.

“At a very young age, Joanne made the choice to serve and trust in the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne has chosen to be a fighter too and to share her journey with the world”, shared his family on social media. at the time.

Borgella competed on season seven in 2008 and placed in the top 12 girls.

Her family added, “Her faith, courage and strength have remained unwavering through all the obstacles she has faced. Although our family is grieving this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know that his spirit still shines and will live on in heaven.”

Mark “Tate” Lynch, who was a former “Mickey Mouse Club” musketeer and appeared on season 3 of “American Idol,” died in 2015 of “acute and chronic alcoholism,” an official confirmed. public information to People magazine at the time. He was 34 years old.

Other deceased “Idol” singers include Alexis Cohen, Jessika Baier and Paula Goodspeed.

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