Willie Spence Fans Flood 'American Idol' Star's Final Instagram Post With Love Following His Death

American Idol star Willie Spence passed away on Tuesday, and fans are clearly grieving. The 23-year-old singer reportedly died in a car crash near his home in Georgia, but that same day he posted a video of himself singing on Instagram. Fans took to the comment section of that post to share their tributes to Spence.

Spence was the runner-up of American Idol Season 19, ending his run in 2021. Details on his death have not been made public yet, but fans learned of it first from his co-star Katharine McPhee. The local news outlet DouglasNow later confirmed it, sparking an outpouring of comments from fans and colleagues. Many other singers posted their messages for Spence there. Some addressed the singer directly, hoping that he would see their words somehow.

"Wowww my heart really hurts! May you rest in paradise Willie. Such a star! And a sweet soul! You will be missed!" wrote singer Ali Caldwell, who competed on The Voice. Disney star Liamani Segura added: "Fly and sing with the angels and dance amongst the stars friend! RIH," while singer Hunter Metts added: "At a loss for words – My heart is broken. Thankful for the time and experiences we shared. Rest in peace Willie."

Fans outside of the industry posted heartfelt messages as well. One person wrote: "It's crazy he posted this right before he got into the accident... you definitely sang your way to heaven king. So so so sooo sad." Another added: "He was killing the game he brought heaven to the earth, he broke shackles and chains my Willie you blessed and I know you'll be in the heavens now, I'll see ya I'm expecting you there your heart is pure so y'all Willie is alive just in higher places pray for the family he left behind," while a third commented: "What a beautiful final curtain call. RIP Willie Spence, the world has heard you."

Spence was marked for his incredible talent early in the season, but the judges pushed him to find his unique drive that would help him stand out from the competition. He shared his dream of winning a Grammy Award one day. McPhee shared news of his passing on her Instagram Story.

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"I received very tragic news tonight," McPhee wrote. "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."