Willie Spence (1999 – 2022) was an American singer. In 2021, he hit the headlines when he was declared the first runner-up of American Idol Season 19. He auditioned on the show with Rihanna’s hit song “Diamonds.” Willie Spence passed away on 11 October 2022 after his car rammed into a parked tractor-trailer on the road in Jasper, Tennessee, US. His death news was confirmed by ‘American Idol’ on one of its official social media accounts. It read,
We are devastated about the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence. 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.”
Willie Spence on the sets of American Idol Season 19
Willie Spence was born on Friday, 18 June 1999 (age 23 years; at the time of death) in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States. His zodiac sign was Gemini. He grew up in Douglas, Georgia. According to his family, he began singing at the age of three and used to sing at a church in Florida along with his grandfather, who was his master. His family shifted to Georgia from Florida when he was six years old. Later, they moved to Riviera Beach.
A childhood picture of Willie Spence with his mother
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Weight (approx.): 180 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Willie Spence Sr., and his mother’s name is Sharon Singleton-Spence.
Willie Spence with his father, Willie Spence Sr.
Willie Spence’s mother, Sharon Singleton-Spence
He has two sisters named Kendra Spence-Western (a school principal in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States) and Tyerra Gilbert.
Willie Spence’s sister, Kendra Spence-Western
Willie Spence with his sister, Tyerra Gilbert
Wife & Children
Willie Spence was not married.
In 2017, when he was pursuing his school education, one of his videos went viral on YouTube. In the viral video, he sang Rihanna’s song “Diamonds,” which earned him huge popularity on various social media platforms. His first video on YouTube received over 15 million views in 2017.
American Idol Season 19
In 2021, Willie Spence auditioned for American Idol Season 2019 and sang Rihanna’s song during the auditions. He was regarded unbelievable singer by the judges of the show Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan after his performance. Bryan cited that he wanted to listen to Willie forever and praised his voice. During the same conversation with the judges of the show, Willie was asked about his next five years plan by Katy Perry. Willie then answered,
I just want my voice to reach the world and just share my gift. Hopefully winning a Grammy one day. That’s where I see myself in five years.”
Willie Spence on the poster of American Idol Season 19 in 2021
On 11 October 2022, Willie Spence died in a car accident in Jasper, Tennessee on Interstate 24 near Chattanooga, United States. Soon after his death, his death news was confirmed by the police in a media statement in which they disclosed that his car hit a parked tractor-trailer on the road. Police said,
Spence was driving and, for an unknown reason, veered off the road, crashing into a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder. Spence was killed. He was only 23 years old.”
- In November 2017, Willie Spence was invited to Steve Harvey’s Must-See daytime talk show soon after his music video went viral on social media.
Willie Spence on Steve Harvey’s show in 2017
- In 2021, when he was declared the first runner-up of American Idol, Willie Spence started posting his musical videos on his YouTube channel, which earned over 592k subscribers over the period of time. He used to sing songs by prominent singers Rihanna, John Legend, and R. Kelly in his own voice. He mostly shared his music videos on his YouTube channel.
- According to Willie Spence, he liked swimming with his mother. He used to post his swimming pictures with his mother on social media.
Willie Spence while swimming with his mother