The singer, who competed last year on the ABC singing competition’s 19th season, died in a car crash in Tennessee Tuesday, a relative told TMZ Wednesday.
Additional details about the accident have not yet been released.
“We are devastated about the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence” the show tweeted. “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.”
Fifth season runner-up Katharine McPhee — who performed with Spence during his season on “Idol,” which was won by Chayce Beckham — paid tribute to the late singer.
“Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident. Only 23 years old,” the former “Smash” star, 38, captioned a video of the two on the show that she posted to her Instagram Story. “Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised. God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.”
Spence posted a video of himself singing in the car “right before his accident,” McPhee also wrote.
“God bless you. Thankful for the time we had,” she added in the comments section of Spence’s video.
“American Idol” runner-up Willie Spence died after a car crash in Tennessee on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. He was 23. (Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)
Fellow “Idol” alumni and others in the music industry also paid tribute to Spence in the comments section.
A representative for “American Idol” did not immediately respond to the Daily News’ request for comment.