AMERICAN IDOL Contestant Michael Johns Dies at 35; Cowell, Jackson React to Tragic News

AMERICAN IDOL Contestant Michael Johns Dies at 35; Cowell, Jackson React to Tragic News

His elimination in eighth place on AMERICAN IDOL was considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the FOX singing competition. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports the sad news that singer-songwriter Michael Johns has died at age 35. Multiple sources have confirmed to THR that the season seven contestant passed away on Friday, August 1st due to a blood clot in his ankle.

"Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend," his family said in a statement published in People. "We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and respect our need to grieve privately in this difficult time."

A statement from AMERICAN IDOL, FOX, FREMANTLEMEDIA NORTH AMERICA and 19 ENTERTAINMENT posted on the official American Idol Facebook page reads as follows:

"Michael Johns was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He was a part of our American Idol family and he will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Johns appeared on Idol during the 2008 season. Though eliminated surprisingly early, he went on to release a successful full-length album, Hold Back My Heart in 2009 which featured the single "Heart on My Sleeve." He auditioned for the FOX music competition at the age of 29, the maximum eligibility age at that time. At the San Diego audition, Johns chose to perform Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" for the judges panel. "I thought that was a very good audition, Michael," commented judge Simon Cowell following the performance. "You're like a white soul singer."

Yesterday, Cowell Tweeted his heartfelt condolances: "A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael." Idol judge Randy Jackson also turned to Twitter to express his sorrow, posting, "So Sad. Too soon. Thank you for sharing your talents with us."

Read the article in full here

Photo: Facebook