The judges of American Idol pay tribute to Willie Spence as 911 calls describe his tragic car accident

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Following the singer’s death at the age of 23, “American Idol” judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie paid tribute to runner-up Willie Spence on social media.

Tuesday afternoon in Jasper, Tennessee, Spence was killed in an automobile accident after he took his SUV off the road and into the rear of a stationary tractor-trailer.

I have the purest affection for you, Willie. Perry, 37, left a remark on the official ‘American Idol’ announcement of Spence’s passing that was posted to the CBS program’s Instagram page. “Sing with the angels, my dear,” Perry wrote.

“We are heartbroken at the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence,” the statement said. He was an exceptional performer who brought light to any space he visited and will be much missed. We offer our condolences to his family.

WILLIE SPENCE, WINNER OF “AMERICAN IDOL,” WAS KILLED IN A CAR CRASH AND DIED AT 23

Willie truly lit up every place he walked into, Bryan, 46, tweeted. When he started singing, the atmosphere quickly changed.
He will truly be missed, the country singer continued.

Richie uploaded a video of Spence giving a performance to his Instagram account. The 73-year-old singer captioned the photo with the words “Your light will always shine in this earth.”