‘American Idol’ star Josh Gracin checks into facility for help after posting alarming note on Facebook

Josh Gracin (Rick Diamond/Getty Images of IEBA)
Josh Gracin (Rick Diamond/Getty Images of IEBA)

Country singer and former “American Idol” finalist Josh Gracin has checked into a facility to get help after posting an alarming note on Facebook, his manager said.

Police in Spring Hill, Tenn., were called on Thursday when people saw a note on Gracin’s Facebook page that read, in part, “Please remember me as someone who gave his all in his music … Pray for my family as they carry on in this world without me. Goodbye.”

TMZ reports that police went to his house, where Gracin’s wife was home. They were eventually able to get in touch with Gracin, who then went to the hospital for observation. That evening, his manager tweeted that the singer was safe and with his family.

On Friday night, another update was published on Facebook:

As many of you know, Josh Gracin has been battling depression and as a result found himself in a personal crisis yesterday. Thanks to the outpouring of concern from family, friends, fans and the police, Josh was admitted to the hospital for observation.

With family by his side, Josh has since been discharged from the hospital and has voluntarily checked himself into an inpatient facility to seek the help he needs.

Gracin, a father of four, became a star in 2003 on the second season of Fox’s reality singing competition “American Idol” back when the show really started to blow up across the country. That year, about 21 million people tuned in per week. Gracin landed in fourth place after embracing his country sound and impressing the judges (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson). A couple of weeks later, 38 million viewers saw Ruben Studdard win over Clay Aiken.

Serving in the Marines until being honorably discharged in 2004, Gracin was the first “Idol” contestant to prove how successful the show’s contestants could be in the country music genre. Over the next several years after the show, he solidified himself as an impressive newcomer in Nashville, landing a deal with Lyric Street Records. His self-titled debut album went gold, with hits such as “Stay With Me (Brass Bed)” and the No. 1 “Nothin’ to Lose.”

Though he continued to chart a couple of songs with his follow-up album “We Weren’t Crazy,” other singles failed to gain traction, and he was dropped from his record label in 2009.  He continued to tour and signed a couple other deals through the years, though he’s now releasing music as an independent artist.

Recently, Gracin gave an interview to the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia (he was supposed to perform a concert there on Friday) and talked about some of the struggles he had trying to make it in the music industry over the last decade, even after the huge launch of “Idol.”

In addition to not being able to participate in the lucrative “American Idol” contestant tour after his season — he had to report back to Marine duty for another year, he said — it became increasingly difficult to launch albums in a packed field of singers. He’s scheduled to independently release an EP later this year.

On his Facebook page update, Gracin offered a statement thanking people for their support in the wake of his note.

“I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. I take responsibility for my actions and apologize dearly for what I have put my family through,” Gracin said. “With the help of my family and friends, I am getting help. Again, thank you for your love and I will see you very soon.”

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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