The Tragic Death Of American Idol Runner-Up Willie Spence

American Idol runner-up Willie Spence has died.

The 23-year-old was involved in a fatal car accident in Tennessee, as first reported by Douglas Now. "We extend our condolences to Willie's family, friends, and fans. He was an extraordinary talent and a ray of light to millions across the world. He will be missed," the news outlet penned in a somber message on their Facebook account. 

As you may recall, Spence first made headlines back in 2021 while competing during Season 19 of the ABC singing competition television series. "Starting tomorrow, I am going to push harder and still be doing music," Spence told Hollywood Life after finishing out the season as runner-up. "This is definitely not the end. This is a new beginning for my career and I am excited!" he vowed. "I feel like I've changed as an artist," he confessed about his time on the show. "Before 'American Idol' I didn't believe in myself as much as I should have as an artist, and [the show] has definitely helped me with confidence and helped me believe in myself more. I feel like that is all I need for my career to take off. I just have to believe in myself a little more." And that's exactly what Spence did — right up until the very end.

Willie Spence was singing until the very end

Just one day prior to Willie Spence's tragic and untimely death, the aspiring singer was doing what he did best: working on his craft and singing his heart out.

On October 11, Spence took to his Instagram account to showcase a clip of him belting out the lyrics to the worship song "You are my Hiding Place" while in his car. Following the somber news, many took to the comments section to express their condolences on what turned out to be Spence's final Instagram post."You're with Jesus now. God bless you. Thankful for the time we had," fellow American Idol alum and actor Katharine McPhee penned. Meanwhile, R&B singer and former "The Voice" contestant Ali Caldwell wrote, "Wowww my heart really hurts! May you rest in paradise Willie. Such a star! And a sweet soul! You will be missed!"

Our deepest condolences go out to all of Spence's loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.