The Buckhead, Ga., native had auditioned for Idol in 2008 at age 29, the maximum age for eligibility. He would finish in eighth place, then release his debut album, 2009′s Hold Back My Heart. “I do like his voice,” Dolly Parton, country star and then-Idol mentor, once said on the show. “He would make some great records, and I think I could probably write some good songs for him, so I do hope that he becomes a star.”
“We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe,” a statement from Johns’ family said. Among others, those who worked directly with Johns on Idol – from judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul to host Ryan Seacrest and associate musical director Michael Orland – took to Twitter to remember him. See their reactions after the jump.
I’m very sad about my pal Michael Johns – he was a talented guy and I loved him and his talent very much. We… http://t.co/xmOHQ53poh
— Michael Orland (@MichaelOrland) August 2, 2014
I can’t express how sad I am right now. Michael Johns, rest in sweet peace, my friend. You will be… http://t.co/PfVhY9hie9
— Melinda Doolittle (@mdoolittle) August 2, 2014
— josh groban (@joshgroban) August 2, 2014
@michael_johns you will be missed my friend. RIP
— Taylor Hicks (@taylorhicks) August 2, 2014
— The Real Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) August 2, 2014
I just heard the very sad news that Michael Johns has passed away. A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael.
— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) August 3, 2014
Sad news for the idol family…one of our own @Michael_Johns passed away. A consistently kind guy with talent for days. We’ll miss you
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) August 3, 2014
So Sad. Too soon. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. RIP Michael Johns
— Randy Jackson (@YO_RANDYJACKSON) August 3, 2014
What a terrible shock – rip #MichaelJohns Such a Great guy
— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) August 3, 2014
I’m heartbroken over the loss of @michael_johns.His enormous talent, gigantic heart & infectious personality will live in my heart forever.
— The Real Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) August 3, 2014