American Idol’ runner-up Willie Spence dies after a car accidentat 23

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Willie Spence, who completed in runner up on Season 19 of “American Idol,” has passed on. He was 23.

The singing rivalry show gave a statement on Spence’s death in a recognition post on Instagram Wednesday.

“We are devastated about the passing of our adored ‘American Idol’ family part, Willie Spence,” read the post, featuring a video from his audition.

“He was a genuine talent who illuminated each room he entered and will be profoundly missed. We send our sympathies to his friends and family.”

The vocalist kicked the bucket Tuesday after raising a ruckus around the town about a tractor-trailer that was halted on the shoulder of Interstate 24 East near Chattanooga

USA TODAY has reached out to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for input.

The two drivers were wearing seatbelts, and the transporter wasn’t harmed, the crash report said.

Spence began his “Idol” venture by singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds” for his audition that aired in February 2021, with judge Lionel Richie calling him “an undeniable star.”

From that point he reliably wowed judges and became the runner-up, losing to “Idol” champ Chayce Beckham.

During the “Idol” confrontation finale Spence sang his version of Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up,” a melody he’d wowed the adjudicators with earlier in the season.

“We love that voice, and I love where it comes from. It comes from God, and it comes from a spirit inside that I pray I can find one day,” judge Luke Bryan said of Spence’s talent.

Bryan also regarded Spence on social media Wednesday, expressing, “Willie really did illuminate each room he walked into. He could change the mindset instantly when he started singing.”

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