Willie Spence captured the hearts of America last year during the 19th season of American Idol. The 23-year-old from Atlanta with his amazing tenor vocals went all the way to the top of the competition in 2021, finishing as runner-up to Chayse Beckham. Spence has been busy on somewhat of a publicity tour since the show ended in May, making appearances, doing interviews, and more while preparing to record his first album. He was known for his beautiful tenor voice and incredible soulful performances.

He had an unbelievable future in music, but shockingly TMZ reported this morning that the young star had died in a tragic car accident. His family confirmed the devastating news with TMZ reporting, Spence died after colliding with a parked tractor-trailer on the side of the road in Tennessee Tuesday.

A source close to his family said the Idol star was on the way home. He had trouble with a tire prior to the accident, got it repaired, and got back on the road. The accident report revealed that Spence's Jeep Cherokee left the road and crashed into the tracker trailer stopped on the shoulder. The driver, identified as 68-year-old Raymond Kresl, was not injured in the crash.

Spence was the runner-up on American Idol season 19 in 2021. The world knew he was special from the beginning as he auditioned singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” News of his untimely death has left his family, friends, and fans heartbroken. Since this morning his social media pages have been filled with tributes and condolences. At the word of his passing, American Idol took to Instagram and posted the following statement:

According to reports, Willie posted a video on his Gram page singing his rendition of the worship song called “You Are My Hiding Place.” This was posted just hours before his tragic death. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and adoring fans. 

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