By Sasha Geffen
Michael Johns, the Australian singer who was a finalist on season 7 of American Idol, died yesterday (August 1). The Hollywood Reporter confirms that he passed away, reportedly after suffering a blood clot in his ankle.
Johns auditioned for the show at age 29 during the summer of 2007. After competing with other singers from around the country, he finished in eighth place when the season wrapped up in 2008. Throughout the season, he performed classic rock songs like “Light My Fire” by the Doors and “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles.
Originally from Perth, Johns moved to the United States on a tennis scholarship, hoping to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. He released several albums with his band Film and another band called the Rising before competing on the Fox show.
Before auditioning for Idol, Johns had previously been signed to the label Maverick records—it was during this period that he worked with the Rising. Unfortunately, that label folded and Warner Bros. released his album straight to iTunes. After Maverick, he was signed to Columbia Records, but the west coast branch of Sony/BMG folded and along with several other developing artists, Johns was dropped. Despite being eliminated from the show, Johns released Hold Back My Heart in 2009, and his last recording was an EP titled Love & Sex that came out in 2012.
He was also friendly with Grammy-award winning producer David Foster who invited him to appear on the PBS special “Hit Man: David Foster and Friends” alongside the likes of Michael Buble and Josh Groban.
Johns leaves behind his wife of seven years, Stacey Vuduris. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.