"American Idol" contestant Michael Johns dead at 35

 Contestant Michael Johns attends the "American Idol" annual Top 12 Party in 2008. AP / Phil McCarten

LOS ANGELES - "American Idol" contestant 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.

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

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.

Fox called Johns "an incredible talent" and a part of the show's family who would be missed.

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.

The Hollywood Reporter says Johns died Friday. A cause of death wasn't immediately available.

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