Willie Spence, a singer who as a teen went viral with his rendition of Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds” and was the runner up on Season 19 on

Willie Spence, a singer who as a teen went viral with his rendition of Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds” and was the runner up on Season 19 on “American Idol, has died the show confirmed in a social media posting on Wednesday.

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.

He was 23 years old.

“We are devastated about the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence,” read the caption on a video of Spence’s “Idol” audition, posted on the show’s verified Instagram account. “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.”

Spence was driving an SUV when he went off the road and crashed into a car that was stopped on the shoulder, according to the accident report.

The West Palm Beach, Florida native relocated with his family to Georgia as a child. It was while singing in his local high school that Spence was first discovered.

“I just want my voice to reach the world and just share my gift,” Spence replied. “Hopefully winning a Grammy one day. That’s where I see myself in five years.”

“American Idol” fifth season runner up Katharine McPhee Foster took to her Instagram stories to post a tribute to Spence, who she met on “Idol” during his season.

“I received very tragic news tonight. Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident,” she wrote on her Instastory along with a video of her and Spence from the show. “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.”