Speed Reads


American Idol finalist Michael Johns dies at 35

American Idol contestant Michael Johns died Friday from a blood clot in his ankle. The 35-year-old is the first finalist of the show to pass away.

"Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend," his family said in a statement. "We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe."

Johns was born in Australia, and moved to the United States in 1997 on a tennis scholarship, People reports. He made his way to Atlanta to work on his music, and ended up finishing eighth during the seventh season of Idol. He released an EP in 2012, and on July 10 tweeted he was working on a new song, "Reckless."

Former American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul turned to Twitter to send their condolences, with Jackson tweeting, "So Sad. Too soon. Thank you for sharing your talents with us."