Tragedy struck the American Idol family on Tuesday when it was announced that Haley Smith, who appeared on Season 11 of the show when it was on FOX, lost her life in a motorcycle accident. The 26-year-old was riding in Maine when she lost control on a sharp turn that went from a residential road onto a highway. Her father, Mike Smith, spoke with reporters suggesting that a deer may have been what caused his daughter to miss the turn. He told TMZ that she frequently rode and didn't believe she simply lost control.
we are sorry to hear of the passing of Haley Smith and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) September 3, 2019
As for who Haley Smith was, she first made her presence known in the national spotlight when she auditioned for American Idol in 2012. Her efforts wound up getting her into Hollywood Week before being cut in the second round of eliminations.
On the show, her most notable performance was her cover of "Tell Me Something Good" by Chaka Khan and Rufus. She impressed the judges, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez, with her version.
@AmericanIdol The family of Haley Smith has my heartfelt prayers and condolences during this difficult time ... May God give them all peace, strength & comfort in Jesus Matchless Name...— Barbie (@daFaBuLz1) September 4, 2019
In her promotional video during her audition, Smith shared insight into her life back when she was 18 appearing on the show.
"I definitely love being outdoors," she said. "It's where I feel most at peace, you could say… it's what I enjoy the most whenever I can get away. The landscape… it's beautiful."
She explained that she managed three jobs: a busser, a housecleaner and as she put it, "a vegetarian that works in the meat department."
In her audition, she told Lopez, who pointed out her '70s and '80s vibe, that she enjoyed that era of music before performing for the judges.
Jackson said he liked her song and she switched up the original version of the Chaka Khan and Rufus song. Tyler added, "I love your voice so much. It's right from my era and I'm honored to be here listening to your voice.
She received a "yes" from all three judges to earn her golden ticket.