‘American Idol’ runner-up Willie Spence dead at 23
“American Idol” runner-up Willie Spence died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a car accident, according to a report. He was 23.
The talented crooner was in Tennessee at the time of the accident, according to local news outlet Douglas Now.
Singer Katharine McPhee, who performed a duet with Spence during his Season 19 appearance, seemingly confirmed the news on her Instagram Story and posted videos mourning him.
“I received very tragic news tonight,” she wrote above a video of her and Spence meeting. “Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident. Only 23 years old. 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.”
McPhee, 38, added a series of broken-heart emojis and also reposted the last video Spence shared, which shows him belting out a Christian song in a car, right before the accident.
“He posted this right before the accident [sobbing emoji],” McPhee added.
Fans and followers have already flooded the post with comments mourning Spence’s tragic accident.
“Fly and sing with the angels and dance amongst the stars friend! RIH 🥺🕊️✨,” commented one.
“Omg I am so at a loss for words. Not you Willie! 💔💔💔 Wow… 😭🕊️ Rest in Paradise, king 😔,” commented an actor.
Film producer Randall Emmett also paid tribute to his “friend” on his Instagram Story.
“My heart is broken and my prayers go out to his family,” he wrote over a photo of Spence. “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.”
During the Season 19 finale, Spence sang “Georgia on My Mind,” “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Stand Up.” Though the judges were moved by his performance, Spence received fewer votes than Chayce Beckham, who became the American Idol.