Willie Spence, a singer who as a teen went viral with his rendition of Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds” and was the runner-up on Season 19 of American Idol, has died. He was 23.
The 23-year-old singer lost his life after his Jeep Cherokee ‘left the roadway and collided with the back of a tractor-trailer that was stopped on the hard shoulder near Chattanooga, Tennessee, said a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Marion County medical examiner.
Spence, who was from Georgia, finished second to Chayce Beckham on season 19 of American Idol last year.
Both Spence and the driver of the tractor-trailer, who is 68 years old, were wearing seat belts, according to the report. Hours before the crash, Spence posted a video of himself singing You Are My Hiding Place on his Instagram page We are truly heartbroken by the passing, and may the family of willie Spence find strength in this time of grief.
Many fans have taken to Twitter to express their grief over his passing. American idol has also released a message on their Twitter page “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.”