'American Idol' Judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry Pay Tribute to Willie Spence After His Death

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The American Idol judges are paying tribute to Willie Spence

The season 19 runner-up recently died at the age of 23. According to local media outlet Douglas Now, which is located in Spence's hometown of Douglas, Georgia, the singer died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.  

"Your light will always shine in this world," Lionel Richie wrote in touching tribute on an Instagram video of one of Spence's Idol performances. "We were so blessed to get a chance to see you shine. My thoughts and prayers are with Willie's family. Rest well my friend."

Luke Bryan also remembered Spence in a heartfelt Instagram Stories post. 

"Willie really did light up every room he walked into," Bryan wrote. "He could change the mood instantly when he started singing. He will truly be missed."

Spence entered Idol with an incredible rendition of “Diamonds” by Rihanna. On the finale, he performed “Stand Up,” “Georgia on my Mind,” and “A Change is Gonna Come.” He became runner-up that season of Idol, with Chayce Beckham going onto win. 

American Idol took to its official Instagram account to share a video of his "Diamonds" performance and a statement about his death. "We are devastated about the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence," the post read. "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."

Katy Perry honored Spence's memory by sharing the performance video on her Instagram Stories. 

Following his time on the show, Spence released an EP titled, The Voice

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