According to Georgia news site Douglas Now, former American Idol finalist Willie Spence passed away on Tuesday as a result of injuries received in a car accident in Tennessee. He was 23.
The fan-favorite Idol contestant finished second in the 19th season of the competition show last year. The winner was Chayce Beckham.
Katharine McPhee, an additional American Idol alumna who coached Spence and shared the stage with him during Season 19, expressed her sorrow for Tuesday on Instagram.
Tonight I heard some extremely bad news,” McPhee wrote. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and life is so unfair. Willie, may God rest your soul. It was a pleasure getting to know you and singing with you.
The a video that Spence had posted on Instagram just prior to his accident was also shared by the Smash celebrity. In the video, Spence can be seen singing along to Selah’s You Are My Hiding Place while driving.
A statement on the American Idol Instagram page read, “We are heartbroken by the loss of our cherished American Idol family member, Willie Spence. He was an exceptional performer who brought light to any space he visited and will be much missed. We offer our condolences to his family.
I cherish you, Willie. Katy Perry, a judge on American Idol, made a comment on the article. cleanest soul. My sweetheart, join the angels in song.
The performer from Douglas, Georgia, really wowed the celebrity judges during his American Idol audition with a powerful rendition of Rihanna’s Diamonds. Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan both praised Spence after he received a standing ovation and referred to him as an unmistakable star.
My friend, you have such talent, Richie replied. I got chills as I heard the first note. It was entertaining to observe that session.
Spence’s first EP, The Voice, along with the singles Never Be Alone and The Living Years, were released in April 2021.
At his Idol audition, he told the judges, “I simply want my voice to reach the world and share my gift.”
I hope to be where I am in five years—hopefully earning a Grammy. It will require a lot of work, but I believe I can succeed.