'American Idol' judges, contestants and more mourn alum Michael Johns
"American Idol" alum and Australian singer-songwriter Michael Johns died Friday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 35-year-old, who made it all the way to the finals in season seven of the reality-TV competition, is believed to have died due to a blood clot in his ankle.
Over the weekend, as news of Johns' death broke, "Idol's" original trio of judges — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — as well as former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, offered their reactions and condolences.
Soon, the contestants who once shared a stage with Johns, and even those who came to the "Idol" family later, began to chime in with messages of their own.
Johns placed eighth in the "Idol" finals, and after his stint in the competition, he went on to release the 2009 album "Hold Back My Heart." He earned the respect and admiration of many in the industry.
"American Idol," FOX and the show's production companies released a statement about the loss of the rising star.
The show's website featured a statement from Johns' family.
"Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle and friend," the message read. "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."
Johns had been active on social media. Just weeks before his death, he reminded his fans about his love of music as he shared a photo of his "two best buds" in the studio with him — his dog and his guitar.
Follow Ree Hines on Google+.