‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Willie Spence Dead at 23
Willie Spence, “American Idol’s” Season 19 runner-up, has died at just 23.
Georgia news outlet Douglas Now reports Spence “passed away due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Tennessee.”
A family source also told TMZ that Willie crashed into a semi truck on the side of the road. The accident happened, after his car got a flat tire earlier in the day that was allegedly fixed.
“Idol” alum Katharine McPhee performed with Spence on the show in 2021. She shared the news of his death on Instagram Stories, writing, “I received very tragic news tonight. Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident. Only 23 years old. Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised.”
She added, “God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.”
McPhee went on to share an Instagram Stories video of Willie singing the Christian song “You Are My Hiding Place,” writing, “He posted this right before the accident,” and adding sobbing and broken heart emojis.
The singer even left a comment on his last Instagram post, sharing, “Sweet Willie… you deserved the stars and the moon. I’m so sorry for the world to be robbed of more precious time with you. You were an absolute Angel. I know you are up there now with the rest of the angels. God rest your soul. For now I’m 💔.”
Mickey Guyton also left a series of broken heart emojis on the same post.
Film producer Randall Emmett honored Spence, writing, “My heart is broken and my prayers go out to his family. I was lucky to have him sing for me live at my home and other events, I will miss you my friend. I know you touched so many of us. I’m heart broken.”
Spence was a top contender on Season 19, but ultimately lost out to Chayce Beckham.