Former American Idol contestant Michael Johns has died, aged 35.
The series seven finalist, originally from Perth, Australia, passed away on Friday (01Aug14), with the administrator of his website confirming the news in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "It is with a heavy heart and inconsolable sadness that we confirm the passing of our friend Michael Johns. No other details will b (sic) avail (available) at this time. Please respect the privacy of Mike's family and friends as we know u (you) will. Members and admin of @mjohnsonline pass on their prayers."
His family says in a statement, "Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe."
Multiple sources have since reported a blood clot in Johns' leg as the cause of death, with sources telling editors at TMZ.com the singer had visited a doctor on Thursday (31Jul14) complaining of pain and swelling following a twisted ankle. He was allegedly found unresponsive at a friend's apartment the next day and was already dead when paramedics arrived.
Johns finished eighth in the TV talent contest in 2008 but continued to work on music following his departure from the show and released album Hold Back My Heart in 2009.
American Idol judge Simon Cowell paid tribute to Johns with a post on Twitter.com, writing, "I just heard the very sad news that Michael Johns has passed away. A truly great guy. Rest in peace Michael."
Executives behind American Idol also honoured the former contestant with a statement on the show's official Facebook page, writing, "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."