Willie Spence won the hearts of American Idol fans in 2021, during Season 19, when the humble performer outshined hundreds of very talented individuals to make it into the top two contestants in the competition.
The 23-year-old American Idol finalist had just finished posting a beautiful video on Instagram showing him singing “You Are My Hiding Place” while sitting in his parked Jeep Cherokee hours before he died in a horrific crash in Marion Co., Tennessee.
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Spence had just finished changing a flat tire and was heading home to Atlanta, GA, while driving on Interstate 24 in Tennessee when he slammed his Jeep Cherokee into the back of a tractor-trailer that was pulled over onto the side of the road. The semi-truck was parked in an emergency lane on the highway.
According to the Daily Mail – He had earlier suffered a flat tire while leaving the state on his way home to Atlanta, Georgia but got it fixed.
The 68-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer was pulled over in the emergency lane of the highway and was uninjured.
American Idol officials acknowledged their beloved star on social media claiming they are ‘devastated’ while sharing a photo of Spence performing on stage during season 19.
‘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 and will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones.’
Katharine McPhee revealed Spence had passed in a tear-jerking Instagram post on her feed on Tuesday.
The singer, who performed with him during American Idol, said “life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised.”
Her post was followed by an influx of heartbroken celebrities paying tribute, including producer Randall Emmett who said, ‘I’ll miss you my friend’.
Please pray for Willie Spence and his mother, Sharon Spence, who was very close to her son.