The judges of 'American Idol' react to Willie Spence's death at the age of 23.
The “American Idol” community is in mourning. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie have paid tribute to Season 19 runner-up Willie Spence, who tragically died in a car crash.
Perry, 37, called Spence a "pure soul" in an Instagram comment on Wednesday, adding, "I love you Willie. … sing along with the angels, my darling.
Bryan tweeted, "Willie really lit up every room he was in. He could change his mood as soon as he started singing. He'll be really missed"
Former contestant Katherine McPhee, who guest-starred on the reality show to perform a duet with Spence,
first confirmed the news on her Instagram story. It was an honor to sing with you and get to know you."
The Georgia native was in Tennessee at the time of the accident, according to local news outlet Douglas Now. he was 23
Shortly after the season aired, Spence released hir debut single, "Never Be Alone," and was set to perform in London next month.