“American Idol” finalist Michael Johns, who appeared in season 7 of the hit Fox singing competition and was voted off in an eighth-round stunner, has died. He was 35.

American Idol Contestant Michael Johns Dies at 35

Singer Michael Johns attends Fox’s ‘American Idol 2013′ Finale – Results Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Image source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The network and his family released statements Saturday confirming the Australian-born singer’s death.

His cause of death was reportedly a blood clot in his ankle, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Johns had twisted his ankle and was in a great deal of pain, reported KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, citing TMZ, which noted he died in his sleep.

His family says it appreciated the support streaming in from around the world but said the loss of “a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend” was devastating.

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

Michael Johns was 29 when he auditioned for American Idol — the absolute upper limit of eligibility. For season seven, Johns auditioned for Idol in San Diego with a rendition of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Simon Cowell was the first judge to comment: “I thought that was a very good audition, Michael. You’re like a white soul singer.” During his time competing on Idol, Johns created a stir because he had been signed to a major label, Maverick, prior to auditioning.

Cowell tweeted his condolences:

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

Johns completed his album for Maverick and assembled a band called the Rising. “The label folded and my record never saw the light of day until I appeared on American Idol,” he told Billboard. “Warner Bros. put the Maverick recordings up on iTunes.”

Johns had never been in the show’s bottom three vote-getters when he was eliminated in April 2008.

After “Idol,” he released an album, “Hold Back My Heart,” in 2009.

More from the Hollywood Reporter:

Indeed, while Johns didn’t win, his career as a singer was by no means stagnant. A favorite of Grammy-winning producer David Foster, he performed on the PBS television special, Hit Man: David Foster and Friends, which also featured such music luminaries as Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Blake Shelton and Andrea Bocelli. He also participated in many A-list charity events and appeared on a 2012 episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which stars Foster’s wife Yolanda.

Johns had tweeted last week that he was ready to head back to the studio to record a new song called “Reckless,” KCAL reported, citing US Weekly.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, Stacey Vuduris, a Hollywood interior designer, KCAL noted.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

This story has been updated.

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