Keith Crisco, former "American Idol" singer Clay Aiken's main rival for the Democratic nomination for Congress, died suddenly Monday, less than a week after primary voting.

Crisco, 71, died "after an accidental fall" at his Asheboro, NC home, according to a statement issued by his family.

Aiken issued a statement which read, "He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him."

Aiken led Crisco by a slim margin for the Democratic seat in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, but the race was never finalized. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will go on to face GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the fall.

The singer says he will suspend all campaign activities to offer prayers to Crisco's family and friends.