Tributes are pouring in for C.J Harris, a 2014 American Idol contestant, who died after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. He was rushed to the hospital but didn't survive.
The Walker County Coroner's Office confirmed Harris' death. However, the official cause of death has not been stated.
Anti-Vax Conspiracy Theory
Rumor mills on Twitter are rumbling the Harris' death is related to the COVID-19 vaccine. But his vaccination status is unclear and whether he had been infected with the coronavirus.
Prince Carlton, author of Black Masculinity: The 40 Lessons, tweeted "All these young people dying of heart problems and we got grown a** adults acting like it isn't the vaccine. The weirdos think the climate is doing this. RIP brother, society failed you." Carmine Sabia, a conservative pundit, said CJ Harris's isn't a coincidence. "Stop pretending that this is a coincidence. American Idol contestant CJ Harris dies at age 31."
This isn't the first time that anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists have made such far reaching statements. When Tim Gough, British radio DJ, passed away suddenly during a broadcast in October 2022, some theorists on social media attacked COVID vaccine. Like Gough, CJ Harris' sudden death is being exploited by the anti-vaccine campaigners who blame COVID vaccine.
Loss of an Incredible Talent
American Idol, in an Instagram Story, remembered CJ Harris as an incredible talent. He had completed in the reality show's 13th season where he came in sixth. Country singer Keith Urban, who was a judge during that season, told Harris that he can sing because he has to sing, and not because he wants to sing. "I mean it in the deepest way. And, that's why it's so believable and real."
Jessica Meuse, who came in fourth on season 13, expressed shock. "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."
CJ Harris grew up in Jasper, Alabama. He said his singing was mostly self-taught and his musical style was described as Earthly roots rock, with blues and country influence.