Staff Writerfondly remember Season 7 alum Michael Johns. He was the "shock boot" of the year, inexplicably being eliminated following a rock solid performance of "Dream On" and a slew of soulful covers beforehand, including Dolly Parton's "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right". Now, in a tragic event that is all-too-sardonic, Michael has died in his sleep at the young age of 35 due to a blood clot to his ankle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuEPrrfsxtE News of his death came suddenly this Saturday (August 2), quick to be confirmed by the administrator of his website, mjohnsonline.com, and has been reverberating through Michael's inner circles since the completely out-of-the-blue announcement: https://twitter.com/SedzOz/status/495623663639465984 https://twitter.com/SedzOz/status/495624081723506688 Michael Johns released the album Hold Back My Heart in 2009, his first and only post-Idol full-length. His lead single from off of the album, "Heart On My Sleeve", later became a hit in Britain when it was handed to X Factor runner-up Olly Murs in 2011 by co-writer James Morrison. Thereafter, he'd released the Love & Sex EP in 2012 with more of an old-school rock flavor to it. I can personally attest to the fact that the song "Cry, Cry, Cry" is fantastic... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWTfdV_qhVw Those in attendance during the seventh Idol tour will carry memories of what a treat it was to see Michael and his buddy, winner David Cook, performing "Mavid" dances at many of the tour's different stops. Of Michael, David said:
"Mike was one of the first people I bonded with when I got to Hollywood week, and I can honestly say that the depth and pressure associated with the first few weeks of the Idolexperience would've eaten me alive, had it not been for Mike. He had a way of making this gigantic, life-altering event seem small and manageable. 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."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu_h36OoSTs Then there's Michael's last tweet while heading to the studio, confirming that a new song was in the works a little less than a month ago: https://twitter.com/michael_johns/status/487323056621092864 Here's to hoping it's finished, because as a fan, I really am wishing we get one more from him to commemorate his music and life much in the same way that you finish making a premium sundae with a cherry on top. Prior to Michael's death, he and Carly enjoyed many performances together, including one on the Idol stage of "The Letter." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_2sO_IVa5s https://twitter.com/CarlySmithson/status/495737699773325313 Johns had also performed with fellow season contestant Brooke White (5th place) on multiple pieces of music, including the studio-released "Life Is Okay"... which is now a heck of a lot more potent than it ever was before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzmsQA8013c Brooke released this official statement on Facebook following news of his death going public:
"Well, darn... what do I say. Yesterday I learned the news that we lost this dear friend of ours and I just haven't processed it. It's tragic and I'm sad. I just had the thought the other day while driving down the freeway, that if someone asked me who my favorite male voice was it'd be Michael johns. Man I wish I had picked up the phone to tell him that, but I didn't. He was stupidly talented, handsome, charismatic, funny and quite a complicated character. I loved singing with the guy. We toured the west coast and shared the stage too many times to count, recorded a couple great duets, wrote "little bird" and a few other tunes together. He believed in my voice and was so generous with his compliments. And sometimes he was a real stinker too. His fans were the most devoted and obsessed I've seen. He was supposed to be the special guest at my Christmas show and he called me to cancel a few weeks ago, that was the last we spoke. It's weird to think we won't sing another tune together again in this lifetime. Isn't it weird. 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. #ripmichaeljohns"Below are tweets and reactions from the American Idol cast members and celebrities. Simon Cowell: https://twitter.com/SimonCowell/statuses/495721247414972417 Randy Jackson: https://twitter.com/YO_RANDYJACKSON/statuses/495725674104377344 Paula Abdul: https://twitter.com/PaulaAbdul/statuses/495690534174728192 Ryan Seacrest: https://twitter.com/RyanSeacrest/status/495742259422171136 Nigel Lythgoe (ex-Idol producer): https://twitter.com/dizzyfeet/statuses/495708443852824576 Caleb Johnson: https://twitter.com/CalebJohnson/status/495695748017975297 Daughtry: https://twitter.com/CHRIS_Daughtry/statuses/495690370898874368 Stevie Van Zandt: https://twitter.com/StevieVanZandt/status/495687783152111616 Josh Groban: https://twitter.com/joshgroban/status/495667447899639810 Joey Fatone: https://twitter.com/realjoeyfatone/status/495702013628678144 Jordin Sparks: https://twitter.com/JordinSparks/status/495708509376634880 Bo Bice: https://twitter.com/OfficialBoBice/statuses/495681180285808640 Danny Gokey: https://twitter.com/dannygokey/status/495729198967697408 Kevin McKidd: https://twitter.com/TheRealKMcKidd/status/495735408144052224 How has Michael Johns' death affected you? Let us know. Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!