Former American Idol star Willie Spence died from a car accident on Tuesday, October 11, in Tennessee, reports have suggested. Spence, who was the runner-up in season 19 of the popular show, was 23 when he died.

American Idol fans were handed a shock when reports emerged claiming that a car accident in Tennessee claimed the life of Willie Spence. The news was first reported by Douglas Now on social media platform Facebook and spread quickly.

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“DouglasNow has learned that Douglas native and American Idol Season 19 runner-up Willie Spence, 23, has passed away due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Tennessee,” the outlet wrote on Facebook “We have no further details at this time. 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 outlet reported.

However, the incident is yet to be confirmed by Spence’s family or anyone close to the singer. According to reports, the American Idol star was in Tennessee when the car accident took place, however, no further details have been made public so far.

Willie Spence made an appearance in the American Idol auditions in 2021, in the 19th season of the popular show. He performed Rihanna’s single titled “Diamonds” which resulted in “Yes” by all of the judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, helping him to advance to the next round of the contest.

Spence went on to the season finale of the 19th season, where he performed Ray Charles’ single “Georgia on My Mind,” followed by Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up”. However, he could not emerge victorious as he received fewer votes than the eventual winner Chayce Beckham.

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News of Spence’s reported car accident spread like wildfire on social media platforms as users reacted in surprise.

“Lord You Are My Hiding Place”- Rest in Heavenly Peace @Williespence. Heartbroken. My prayers to your family & loved ones,” news anchor Michelle Wright wrote on Twitter.

“Willie Spence had such a beautiful soul (even tho I never met him) and a beautiful voice.. it’s really shocking to me to hear that he’s passed away 😔 I’m still trying to process this shit like I literally just watched him on his season of American Idol and to,” another user tweeted.