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'Australian Idol' Judge, 36, Found Dead

Jay Dee Springbett, the "nice guy" on the panel, was also a longtime A&R executive at Sony Music.

jay dee springbett publicity
Network Ten
Jay Dee Springbett

Australian Idol judge Jay Dee Springbett was found dead in his Sydney apartment on Thursday, June 30. He was 36.

A UK transplant and A&R executive at Sony Music for more than six years, Springbett joined the show in its seventh and final Aussie season in 2009, taking the role of soft-spoken but direct fourth judge (New Zealand's soulful Stan Walker won that year) and was generally regarded as a "nice guy." Springbett replaced Kyle Sandilands, who has since moved on to other Fremantle Media properties Australia's Got Talent and Australia's version of X Factor

Police tell the Sydney Morning Herald that his death is not suspicious. Paramedics discovered Springbett's body after friends called emergency services. He had been unreachable for some time.

At Sony, Springbett helped guide the careers of artists like Guy Sebastian, Human Nature, Rogue Traders and Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Walker's debut album Introducing... Stan Walker, recorded in the days following his win, was certified platinum, as was his follow-up, From the Inside Out, which topped the New Zealand charts.  

Said Sony Music Entertainment Australian and New Zealand CEO Denis Handlin in a statement: "Jay Dee was so very enthusiastic and passionate about his family, his music projects and his plans for the future. [He] was a great friend and larger-than-life charismatic character who will be missed enormously."

A spokesperson for Fremantle added, "The Australian Idol family is deeply saddened by the passing of Jay Dee. Our thoughts are with his family and all at Sony Music."

See Springbett's Idol technique in the clip below where he along with guest judge Joel Madden critique Walker after his performance of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb."