Willie Spence death: 'American Idol' star's touching final post shows him singing hours before car crash
MARION COUNTY, TENNESSEE: 'American Idol' finalist from Season 19, Willie Spence, died in a fatal crash hours before posting a Christian song on his Instagram. Spence was driving his 2019 Jeep Cherokee on his way to Atlanta from Tennessee before slamming into a parked semi-truck on the side of the road in Marion County, Tennessee.
‘American Idol’ official Instagram post read, “We are devastated about the passing of our beloved ‘American Idol’ family member, Willie Spence. He was a true talent who lit up every room he entered and will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones.” The post features a video of Spence singing Rihanna’s 'Diamonds' from his 'American Idol' audition. Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan praised Spence’s performance, with Bryan commenting, “You are a special, special human being. I did not want it to end.”
Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee remembered Spence on her Instagram story too, and wrote, “Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised. God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.” Spence and McPhee performed a duet during the 23-year-old time on Season 19.
Spence sang his last song ‘You Are My Hiding Place’ with everything he had. The gifted singer kept his eyes closed and head tilted backward before belting out a rapturous emotional anthem on Tuesday, October 11.
Tributes for Spence poured out from all corners, as producer Emmett wrote on Instagram, “My friend @williespenceofficial passed away today. My heart is broken and my prayers go out to his family. I met Willie four ago after his amazing voice went viral on Youtube.” She further said, “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. I will cherish our talks, Rest in Peace, god bless.”
His Season 19 co-star Alex Miller mourned Spence and talked about the moments they shared together backstage on the show. “I heard some really shocking news this morning. A friend of mine from idol passed away Willie Spence. I got to sing with Willie behind the scenes of the show, and I enjoyed watching him go all the way to the finale of American Idol. So sorry for his family, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
Mickey Guyton, four-time Granny nominee was quick to pay his respects via tweet, “Dear God rip sweet Willie Spence.”