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'American Idol' Star Willie Spence Dies in Tragic Accident Just Hours After Posting Worship Video

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Willie Spence, runner-up on last year’s season of “American Idol,” died Tuesday in a car accident. Just hours before the fatal crash, the 23-year-old singer posted a video of himself singing a worship song.

“American Idol” alumna Katharine McPhee, who competed on the show in 2006, confirmed Spence’s death in a post to her Instagram account, TV Insider reported.

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She wrote, “I received very tragic news tonight. Sweet [Willie Spence] passed away in a car accident. Only 23 years old. 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.”

McPhee was Spence’s mentor during the 2021 season:

The “Had It All” singer also directed her followers to Spence’s own Instagram account, where, just hours before the deadly crash, the young singer posted a video of himself singing a praise song.

Spence recorded the video in his car, seemingly hours before the tragic incident unfolded. He posted a one-minute clip to his Instagram account early Tuesday:

Penned by hymn-writer Michael Ledner, the song declares:

You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid

I will trust in You
I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong
In the strength of the Lord
I will trust in You

In addition to McPhee, “American Idol” producer Randall Emmett spoke out about Spence’s death.

“I was lucky to have him sing for me live at my home and other events,” he wrote, according to TMZ. “I will miss you my friend. I know you touched so many of us.”

Please be in prayer for Spence’s family, friends, and loved ones as they mourn their loss.

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church