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American Idol runner-up Willie Spence died at 23

American Idol runner-up Willie Spence died at 23
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The American Idol Season 19 runner-up Willie Spence died in a car crash in Nashville, Tennessee. His age was 23. 

It was around 4:30 pm when a crash occurred. Spence’s Jeep Cherokee left the road and collided with a tractor-trailer.

It was reported that both Spence and the truck driver were wearing seatbelts.

Spence, who hailed from Douglasville, Georgia, first came into the spotlight when he auditioned for Season 19 of American Idol in 2020 and quickly became a fan favorite. During his time on the show, he impressed judges with his renditions of songs like “Diamonds” by Rihanna and Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon In The Sky.” His talent level earned him second place in the competition and a recording contract with Geffen Records/Hollywood Records.

Willie Spence Cause Of Death

He was pronounced dead at the accident scene due to a “multisystem trauma.”

A few hours before the crash, Spence posted a video on his Instagram page singing “You Are My Hiding Place.”

He said, “All I want is to share my gift with the world and hopefully win a Grammy one day.” Spence said during the audition, “I know it will take a lot of work, but I am sure I can do it.”

Richie gave Spence a standing ovation as he performed Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in his “Idol” audition. “You are undeniable.” Richie said after Spence’s audition.

“Idol’s” showdown finale featured Spence performing Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up,” a song that had already impressed the judges. 

The contest’s judge, Luke Bryan, said, “We love that voice, and it comes from a soul I hope to find one day.”


“Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee Foster, who performed a duet with Spence on season 19, shared news of the death on Instagram.

She wrote, “Life is so unfair, and nothing is guaranteed.”. May God rest your soul, Willie. I enjoyed singing with you and knowing you.”

On a subsequent Instagram post, she commented, “Sweet Willie… you deserved the stars and moon. You were an absolute angel and the world missed out on your presence. Rest in peace. For now, I’m thinking of you.”.

A tribute to Mickey Guyton was offered: “You have been such a blessing to us over the course of our lives.” 

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