Luke Bryan Says ‘American Idol’ Finalist Willie Spence Lit Up Every Room He Walked Into Following Singer’s Tragic Death
Luke Bryan and the entire American Idol family are mourning the death of former contestant, Willie Spence. The singer who became a finalist in last year’s season of American Idol died on Tuesday at the age of 23.
According to USA Today, Spence was involved in a car crash that took place on the shoulder of Interstate 24 East near Chattanooga. He hit the rear of a tractor-trailer that was stopped.
Even though Spence was wearing a seatbelt, the collision caused some injuries to the singer. But the driver of the tractor-trailer managed to get out of the scene unscathed.
Following his untimely passing, Bryan paid tribute to Spence, who he met for the first time when he auditioned for American Idol. Spence wowed Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry with his rendition of Rihanna’s hit song, “Diamonds.”
“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,” Bryan tweeted.
American Idol also paid tribute to Spence via a post on Twitter.
“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,” they said.
Perry also remembered Spence following his passing by saying that he had the purest soul.
“Sing with the angels my darling,” Perry wrote on Instagram.
Spence served as a runner-up to American Idol winner Chayce Beckham. Earlier this year, he returned to the idol stage to give the contestants tips on how to give top-notch performances on the show.
Prior to his passing, Spence was scheduled to perform for his fans in London together with some big names in the music industry. However, his show will no longer push through.
Meanwhile, American Idol is scheduled to return for another season next year. As early as now, aspiring contestants can already audition for a spot on the show.
Typically, American Idol premieres around March on ABC. But this year, the official release date for the upcoming season has not yet been confirmed.
Bryan, Perry, and Richie will all return to the show alongside host Ryan Seacrest.