The news of his passing was confirmed Saturday afternoon by the administrator of his fan page:
Though a cause of death has not been officially released, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Johns suffered a blood clot in his ankle.
“Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend,” Johns’ 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.”
American Idol, Fox, FreemantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment also released the following statement:
“Michael Johns was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He was a part of our American Idol family and he will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Johns placed eighth during his Idol season before going on to release two studio albums, 2009’s Hold Back My Heart and 2012’s Love & Sex.
American Idol contestants of yore — as well as former judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — expressed their condolences on Twitter:
Below, enjoy one of Johns’ most memorable Idol performances, Aerosmith’s “Dream On”:
More to come…