'American Idol' Alum Jax Tees Up Debut EP, Releases 'Cathartic' New Single

Fox
"American Idol XIV" finalist Jax.

"I was in a dark place," says the singer, who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

American Idol season 14 alum Jax is set to release her debut EP, Funny, in January, and is giving the Jax Pack an early taste with a powerful new song, "Stars."

Released Nov. 4 via Idolator, "Stars" begins with a flurry of keys and undertones of acoustic guitar. A wash of lush production follows Jax as she delivers the line that inspired the song's title: "Stars can't shine without darkness / Hold up your fire / We can burn brighter."

Co-written with Nash Overstreet (Britney Spears, Meghan Trainor), "Stars" addresses the East Brunswick, NJ singer's year-long battle with thyroid cancer. She was diagnosed earlier this April with Hashimoto's Disease, and underwent surgery to remove her thyroid. 

"It was very unexpected," she said in an interview with My Central Jersey. "When you're 20 years old, you have this Superman entitlement mentality, like you're indestructible. And sometimes all it takes is God telling you it's time to take a break for you to understand that you are most certainly not."  

Writing "Stars," Jax said, was therapeutic: "I was in a dark place and it was really cathartic for me to be writing. I feel like 'Stars' was a turning point in the writing process for everyone. It represented me getting through one of the biggest obstacles of my life."

Additional collaborators on the six-song Funny, which is due Jan. 27, include co-writers/producers Colin Dieden (from The Mowgli's), Ruffian (Selena Gomez, Zedd), Larzz Principato (Halsey) and Nick Marsh (Chris Brown). 

But first, Jax will compete in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6 representing the charity Tuesday's Children, a response and recovery organization that supports youth, families and communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Fans can donate to her Crowdrise page, which as of press time has raised $2,335.

After the marathon, she will host an after party from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bar 9 in Manhattan, with additional proceeds going to the charity.

Funny can be pre-ordered here.