The official American Idol Instagram account has acknowledged the death of American Idol season 19 runner-up Willie Spence, who died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a car accident in Tennessee. The singer was 23.
The account posted a tribute to Spence, along with a video of his audition. The caption reads, “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.”
According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report obtained by ABC News, Spence was driving when his vehicle “left the roadway” and collided with the back of a tractor trailer, which was stopped on the shoulder of the road.
As previously reported, the tragic news was also confirmed by Katherine McPhee, who’d performed with Spence in season 19 of the show. Chayce Beckham won that season.
McPhee posted a video to her Instagram Story of her and the “sweet” singer together. “Only 23 years old. Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised,” she captioned, adding, “God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.”
McPhee also posted the last video Spence shared on social media, which incidentally shows him singing in his car on Tuesday. “He posted this right before the accident,” McPhee wrote, adding a sobbing emoji.
So far, American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan have yet to react to Spence’s death.
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