Tributes have been paid to the Australian singer and 2008 American Idol contestant Michael Johns, who has died at the age of 35.

It is believed that Johns died after suffering a blood clot in his ankle.

In a statement, his family said: "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. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and respect our need to grieve privately in this difficult time."

A tribute on the American Idol Facebook page read: "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."