All of “American Idol’s” fans are saddened by the news.
Tributes have been given to Willie Spence, the runner-up of Season 19, who died in a vehicle tragedy, by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.
According to Douglas Now, a local newspaper in Tennessee, the Georgian was in the state at the time of the tragedy. He was 23.
Perry, 37, sent an effusive Instagram message to Spence on Wednesday, calling him the “purest soul” and declaring, “I love you, Willie. Let your angelic voice be heard, my sweet.
American Idol judges react to Willie Spence’s death at 23
Bryan, on the other hand, said of Willie on Twitter, “Willie truly did light up any room he stepped into.” When he began singing, the atmosphere immediately shifted. Sincerely, he will be missed.
Willie really did light up every room he walked into. He could change the mood instantly when he started singing. He will truly be missed. https://t.co/XTqm65UJu0
— Luke Bryan (@lukebryan) October 12, 2022
According to an Instagram post by the 73-year-old musician Richie, he considered himself “fortunate” to have met the late singer.
Richie wrote, “your light will always shine in the globe.” For Willie’s family, I offer my deepest sympathies. Friends, I hope you sleep well.
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Former participant Katharine McPhee, who appeared on the evening as a special guest to sing a duet with Willie Spence, broke the news first on her Instagram Story.
Above a video of her and Spence’s 2021 encounter, she commented, “I heard really bad news tonight.”
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Sadly, the life of sweet @williespenceofficial was cut short in a vehicle crash. A young adult at just 23 years old. Nothing is ever certain in life, and it is all so unfair.
Then she said, “May God bless you, Willie. “It was a joy to sing with you and get to know you.
The 38-year-old McPhee also uploaded a video of Willie Spencesinging a Christian hymn while driving in the moments before the tragic crash.
McPhee remarked, “He tweeted this just before the accident [sobbing emoji].” He then added a weeping emoji and a grief emoji.
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As part of the Season 19 finale, Willie Spence sang “Georgia on My Mind,” a song about his home state, in addition to “A Change is Gonna Come” and “Stand Up.”
Willie Spence’s performances moved Perry, Richie, and Bryan, 46, yet he emerged in second place, losing out to Chayce Beckham, who went on to win American Idol.
Spence’s first song, “Never Be Alone,” was published shortly after the season aired, and he will be performing in London next month.