‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Dies in Car Crash at 23

by Shelby Scott
(Photo via Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian / Stringer)

American Idol fans are mourning the death of season 19 runner-up, Willie Spence, after he was involved in a severe car crash. The budding star was just 23 years old.

According to MEAWW, the former American Idol contestant had been in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11th when the tragic car crash occurred. Per the outlet, first responders transported Willie Spence to the hospital but he succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.

So far, authorities have not released any further information regarding the “Never Be Alone” singer’s death.

Page Six reports that news of the American Idol star’s death came via social media. Fellow American Idol season 19 contestant, Katharine McPhee, mourned the young singer’s death in a post on her Instagram Story. The outlet states McPhee shared videos of herself and Spence singing together during their time on American Idol.

“I received very tragic news tonight,” the 39-year-old singer wrote. “Sweet [Willie Spence] 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.”

In addition to their American Idol duet, McPhee also reposted the last video Spence shared before his death on Tuesday. The clip shows the young singer crooning along to a gospel song right before he died.

‘American Idol’ Fans Mourn Willie Spence

Katharine McPhee is hardly the only one mourning the tragic death of the former American Idol star. After sharing the news of his passing to social media, hordes of the TV show’s fans flocked to social media to share well-wishes and prayers.

“Sweet willie you were such a light on earth,” one American Idol fan wrote in the comments following the star’s last Instagram post, “I know you’ll be the same in heaven.”

Willie Spence’s death highlights, as Katharine McPhee did above, just how quickly a life can be snuffed out. The American Idol alum’s final post was a promotion for his first live show in London, featuring artists like Lois Moodie, Emmanuel Smith, and violinist Kieron Daniels, among others. Per the post, the show was set to take place on November 12th.

More prayers and well-wishes poured in in the comments beneath Spence’s final post.

“This shouldn’t even be possible,” a second Idol fan said of the 23-year-old’s death, “such a sweet soul taken away from the world.”

A third commenter added, “May God Bless your Soul as you return home.”

Stevie Mackey, another recognized singer as well as a vocal coach, added his own meaningful tribute to the thread, writing, “We will miss your beautiful soul my friend. But we will see you again.” Mackey concluded his tribute with a white heart emoji followed by a dove.