Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

‘American Idol’ Finalist Grace Kinstler Mourns Loss Of Willie Spence: “Rest Easy, Love You Lots, Friend”

Grace Kinstler is mourning the loss of her fellow American Idol finalist and her good friend Willie Spence, who died suddenly in a car accident on Tuesday (Oct. 11).

The powerhouse singer and Idol alum took to social media on Wednesday (Oct. 12) to share a heartfelt message about her late friend.

“Willie, I’m sorry I don’t have more eloquent words to share for you right now. It doesn’t feel real,” Kinstler wrote. “Thank you for your heart, and thank you for reminding all of us that there’s nothing more refreshing than being authentic and keeping it 100% at all times.”

She continued, “I will miss your laugh, the face you’d make when you didn’t like something or felt uncomfortable, and most of all, the smiles you’d put on the faces and hearts of everyone around you the moment you’d enter a room. Rest easy, love you lots, friend. ♥️”

Throughout the show, Spence and Kinstler formed a tight-knit friendship and even shared a duet during The Great Idol Reunion. The two singers performed a cover of “Rather Be,” a track by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. 

Spence kicked off their show-stopping duet as he sang the first verse of the popular tune before Kinstler joined him on stage. Together, the pair put their powerhouse vocals on full display while working the massive stage, surrounded by an impressive production. 

Kinstler and Spence, who were both contestants on season 19, previously performed FINNEAS’ song, “What They’ll Say About Us” on the show.

Willie Spence passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident on Tuesday (Oct. 11). No additional information was revealed about the incident. 

The 23-year-old was a stand-out contestant on Season 19 of American Idol. Throughout his time on the popular singing competition show, Spence allowed his powerhouse vocals to shine and wowed America with his impressive vocal abilities.

Spence auditioned for American Idol in San Diego, California. His performance of “Diamonds” by Rihanna earned him a spot in the Hollywood rounds with a “yes” from Idol judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry.

“Willie, you have demonstrated exactly what we’re looking for,” Richie gushed after his audition. “You just brought the artist to the table and honestly you’re an undeniable star. You my friend are so gifted on the first note I had chills.”

“You are a special, special human being. Gosh I didn’t want it to end. I did not want it to end. That GRAMMY is attainable with no doubt in my mind,” Bryan said.

“The voice you have stops people right in their tracks. This is the magic you have,” Perry shared.

Throughout the season, the Georgia native covered songs such as “All Of Me” by John Legend, “Stay” by Rihanna, and “I Was Here” by Beyoncé.

After securing a spot in the Top 16, Spence delivered a show-stopping performance of Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain.”

He continued to impress all the way into the Top 4 where he sang “Glory” by John Legend and Common and joined forces with fellow finalist Grace Kinstler for a performance of “What They’ll Say About Us” by FINNEAS.

Bryan was a big fan and support of Spence throughout the show and at one point in the competition told him, “You can do no wrong in my eyes, Part of being a star is making people fall in love with you and, man, I am in love with you, and I am in love with the way you go about being on stage, and the way you go about singing and the place it comes from. It’s amazing.”

Willie Spence ultimately placed second in the competition behind Season 19 winner Chayce Beckham.

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