Luke Bryan Pays Tribute To “Idol” Alum Willie Spence After His Death

American Idol / YouTube

On Tuesday (October 11) American Idol alum Willie Spence was killed in a car accident in Tennessee. He was 23 years old.

Spence won over America’s hearts with his outstanding performances on the 19th season of Idol. He made it all the way to the finale, and was named the runner-up of the season.

According to WSBTV out of Atlanta, the accident that claimed Spence’s life occurred around 4 PM while he was traveling near Chattanooga, Tennessee on I-24 East.

“Spence was driving a Jeep Cherokee when he went off the road and crashed into a car that was stopped on the shoulder, according to the accident report. That driver, identified as 68-year-old Raymond Kresl, was not injured,” WSBTV stated.

Just hours before his fatal accident, Spence shared a video of himself performing the worship song “Lord You Are My Hiding Place.”

Idol released a statement about Spence’s death, saying:

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 he entered and will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones.”

Country star Luke Bryan, who is a judge on Idol, paid tribute to Spence in a post of his own. He shared Idol‘s statement and added:

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.”

Spence was a truly talented vocalist who will be missed. Remember him by watching his unforgettable audition for Idol below.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Spence’s loved ones during this difficult time.