The “American Idol” community is in mourning.
Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie have paid tribute to Season 19 runner up, Willie Spence, who tragically died in a car crash.
The Georgia native was in Tennessee at the time of the accident, according to local news outlet Douglas Now. He was 23.
Perry, 37, called Spence the “purest soul” in a Wednesday Instagram comment, gushing, “I love you Willie. … Sing with the angels my darling.”
Bryan, for his part, tweeted, “Willie really did light up every room he walked into. He could change the mood instantly when he started singing. He will truly be missed.”
As for Richie, the 73-year-old musician wrote via Instagram that he was “blessed” to have met the late singer.
“Your light will always shine in this world,” Richie wrote. “My thoughts and prayers are with Willie’s family. Rest well my friend.”
Former contestant, Katharine McPhee, who made a guest appearance on the reality show to perform a duet with Spence, was the first to confirm the news on her Instagram Story.
“I received very tragic news tonight,” she wrote above a clip of her and Spence meeting in 2021.
“Sweet @williespenceofficial passed away in a car accident. Only 23 years old. Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised.”
She continued, “God rest your soul Willie. It was a pleasure to sing with you and to know you.”
McPhee, 38, also shared a video of Spence singing a Christian song in a car, right before the fatal accident.
“He posted this right before the accident [sobbing emoji],” McPhee said, adding a crying emoji and a heartbreak emoji.
In honor of his home state, Spence sang “Georgia on My Mind” during the Season 19 finale, along with “A Change is Gonna Come” and “Stand Up.”
Although Perry, Ritchie and Bryan, 46, were moved by his performances, Spence finished in second place, while Chayce Beckham became the American Idol.
Shortly after the season aired, Spence released his debut single “Never Be Alone,” and was set to perform in London next month.