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article imageIn Memoriam: Michael Johns from 'American Idol' (1978-2014)

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 2, 2014 in Music
It is with great sadness to learn about the passing of Michael Johns, alum from season 7 of "American Idol," who passed away at the young age of 35.
The apparent cause of his death was a blood clot in his ankle. An Aussie native, he came to the United States on a tennis scholarship. Johns auditioned for the seventh season of American Idol with a sultry rendition of the Otis Redding song "I've Been Loving You Too Long," which impressed all then-judges, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell.
The singer-songwriter continued to wow the judges and America each week throughout that season with his superb versions of "Light My Fire," Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way," Dolly Parton's "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" and the Queen classic "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions," the latter of which was tough challenge to undertake yet he nailed it. In fact, his elimination after his rendition of the inspirational "Dream On" by Aerosmith is still one of the most shocking eliminations in the singing competition's history.
Following Idol, he released a single called "Heart on my Sleeve," as well as an album Hold Back By Heart, which fared well. In 2007, he married Stacey Vuduris.
Johns recorded a few duets with fellow American Idol alumna Brooke White such as "Life Is Okay" and they wrote "Little Bird" together. White expressed her sympathies via a lengthy post on her official Facebook page that can be read in its entirety by clicking here. "My heart goes out to his family, his fans, friends, to his Stacy and his beloved Puddy. Michael Johns, we will miss you hard... you will always be my favorite Australian," she posted.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, his good friend and American Idol season 7 winner David Cook, paid homage to the singer. "To say I'm shocked and saddened is a gross understatement. I'm completely gutted for his family, including his wife, Stacey. I hope they can find at least some small amount of solace in the fact that he made mine and many others' lives so much better by having known him," Cook told The Hollywood Reporter.
Personally, I had the good fortune to meet Michael Johns on several occasions and watch him perform live at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, New York, as part of Fresh 102.7 FM's "Fresh in the Park" series back in 2009, along with American Idol alums Brooke White and Elliott Yamin and he was such a great human being. He was very courteous and kind, who loved his fans and he had that warm Australian friendliness and gentle personality. Thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones and friends and family that he leaves behind.
May he rest in peace (R.I.P.)
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