Fans and staff of American Idol were shocked to learn of the untimely death of alum Michael Johns has died from a blood clot in his ankle. Johns, 35, was born in Australia and carved out a niche for himself as a rock ‘n’ soul singer during the show’s 7th season and gained numerous fans with his covers of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." Following his appearance on the show, Michael went on to write and record music for himself and other artists, releasing an album in 2009 titled “Hold Back My Heart.” A second, “Love and Sex,” dropped 2012.
Following the announcement of his passing, his family stated,“We are devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. 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.”
In turn, Fox and Idol producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment recalled Johns “an incredible talent, and expressed their sorrow at 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.”
In addition, former Idol judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul expressed their own sadness and admiration for the young singer.
While Cowell tweeted, “A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael,” fellow Idol veteran, Randy Jackson wrote, “So Sad. Too soon,” and Abdul tweeted her own condolences to his family. In addition, co- Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle wrote on Instagram, “I can’t express how sad I am right now. Michael Johns, rest in sweet peace, my friend. You will be greatly missed.”