Inside The Tragic Death Of ‘American Idol’ Fan-Favorite Michael Johns

Michael-Johns-American-Idol-Dead-ContestantsSource: Fox

Michael Johns was one of the breakout contestants on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008. The Australian singer charmed his way into the hearts of America and certainly made a name for himself on the show. In 2014, fans were heartbroken once they learned he passed away at the age of 35.

Michael Johns Became A Fan-Favorite On ‘American Idol’

Michael was 28 years old when he auditioned for American Idol singing Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” He sang the tune perfectly and it was clear that he had some serious talent. “I thought that was a very good audition, Michael. You’re like a white soul singer” Simon said after hearing Michael sing.

“You’ve got good control, good soulful sound. I like you too” Paula Abdul said. Michael went on to say that he has been listening to this kind of music for his entire life.


“You kinda made it your own, you turned it around the way you wanted to. I was very impressed – very good audition” Randy Jackson added. All of the judges agreed that Michael should move on to Hollywood. He was ecstatic and left the audition room holding up his golden ticket. This led to a dynamite performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen during Hollywood Week.

It was no surprise when Michael was chosen to perform in the live shows. Each week he impressed the judges and the voters at home with his soulful sound. Michael made it to the Top 8 where he sang “Dream On” by Aerosmith. Though he was eliminated from the competition, he was certainly one of the most memorable contestants of the season.

News Of His Death Shocked The World In 2014

In 2009, Michael released an album called Hold Back My Heart. The album sold 20,000 copies which earned him the 16th spot on the list of American Idol contestants who released albums the same year. He also performed on the soundtrack of Olympic snowboarder Shaun White’s documentary called Don’t Look Down. In 2012 Michael released an EP called Love and Sex. He also made a cameo on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after establishing a friendship with David Foster.

On August 1, 2014, Michael’s family announced that he had passed away. Initially many reports said the cause of death was a blood clot caused by an ankle injury. The Orange County Coroner’s report states that he died from dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a disease that causes an enlarged heart. Michael is one of the many incredible contestants whose memory we honor in the video down below.

“Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle and friend,” Michael’s family said in a statement. “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.”


“I just heard the very sad news that Michael Johns has passed away. A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael” Simon tweeted after hearing news of Michael’s death.


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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