‘American Idol’ star Willie Spence dies at age 23

Willie Spence died on Oct. 11, 2022, at 23 years old. Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images/Getty

Former American Idol star Willie Spence has died at age 23.

The singer, who was the runner-up on season 19 of the show in 2021, died after suffering injuries in a car accident, Katharine McPhee Foster confirmed.

Multiple outlets including E! News and TMZ shared the tragic news.

McPhee, who was the runner-up on the fifth season of American Idol in 2006, posted on her Instagram story: “I received very tragic news tonight.”

“Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident,” she wrote. “Only 23 years old.”

Credit: Instagram/Katharine Foster
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McPhee, who performed Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s 1999 ballad The Prayer with Spence on American Idol, wrote, “Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised.”

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She continued: “God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.”

TMZ reported the crash happened on Tuesday while Spence was driving home to Atlanta from Tennessee. One of Spence’s relatives informed the publication of the musician’s death.

Local news agency Douglas Now also made a tribute post on Facebook.

“He was an extraordinary talent and a ray of light to millions across the world,” the publication wrote. “He will be missed.”

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