‘American Idol’ Star Willie Spence’s Family Speaks Out After His Death

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

After the death of American Idol star Willie Spence, 23, his family is speaking out at the first press conference after his death. Spence died as a result of an auto accident. The family spoke at Spence’s grandmother’s house in Florida. They expressed how heartbroken they are at Spence’s death.

“Willie was our gentle giant,” Spence’s cousin Sabrina Cooper said, according to the New York Post. “He had such a soft demeanor but a very, very powerful voice. When he opened his mouth and lifted the Lord in song, many would just stop in their tracks to listen to him. Now Willie is in heaven, singing the lead in the heaven’s choir.” A Tennessee State Trooper indicates that the Jeep in which Spence was driving ran off the road. It crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer which was stopped on the shoulder of the road.

‘American Idol’ Star ‘Loved Singing,’ Family Member Says

For American Idol fans, they will remember that Spence was part of the show’s 19th season. The singer reached the top three of the show’s contest but would lose to Chayce Beckham. “He loved singing,” former neighbor Keneitha Monroe said. “He loved being around people, and he loved his family. Mom and Dad were his best friends. He loved congregating with people and just enjoying time with others. He really was a very sweet soul.”

Meanwhile, the family members believe that alcohol did not play a role in his death, TMZ reports. Yet what several family members are saying is that Spence may have been too tired from a busy weekend. It is possible that he fell asleep at the wheel. Family members indicate that Spence was leaving Tennessee State University’s homecoming weekend when the crash happened. They also indicate that Spence was not a drinker. Since the crash happened in daylight, the family says that there’s no way Spence was leaving a party.

No cause of death has been issued by police officials. Yet the family of Spence would say he was on his way back to Atlanta. He was reportedly going to meet up with an organization that offers support for abused and trafficked women. The family also indicates that they are going to start a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses. There have been people associated with the show who have offered condolences and tributes after hearing the news about Spence. Beckham said, “It’s hard to find the words to say here, other than I loved Willie very much. He was a good sweet soul and a warm beam of light in a cold and dark world that needed him so much.”