Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 05:36 pm
The 22-years old, Willie Spence (born on 18th June 1999) is an American singer, songwriter, TV personality, YouTuber, and internet sensation who became famous after he competed on the American Idol Season 19 in 2021 finishing runner-up. Started singing at the age of three, today, he has become a well-recognized singer. Belonging to a Mixed (American-African) ethnic background, he holds American nationality. He has more than 494K followers on his Instagram account (@williespenceofficial), more than 12.7k followers on his Twitter account (@williespenceofficial), and more than 582K subscribers on his self-titled YouTube channel. He has accumulated a net worth of $4 Million through the music industry.
Here are the 10 Things you didn't know about American Idol 2021 Contestant Willie Spence
1. Willie Spence is a singer and songwriter
An aspiring singer, and songwriter from the USA; Willie was a contestant of American Idol in 2021 where he sang "Diamonds". During the show, he sang "Glory", "Yellow", "Circle of Life", "Stand Up", "Set Fire to the Rain", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "I Was Here". Besides this, he has also released his own song including "Never Be Alone", "Reckless", "Chance on me", "Forever More" among others.
2. He is of Douglas native
Born in Florida, Willie was raised and spent his early life in Douglas, Georgia which he regarded as his hometown. While speaking to the judges after his showstopper round performance, Willie said he knows that the people back home in Douglas are "very happy" and "proud" of him.
3. He started a fundraiser for his music release
In March 2021, Spence began a fundraiser (gofundme.com/f/willie-spence-music) by asking people to donate money so that he could fulfill the dream of releasing his music album. Out of the target of $5000, only $941 was gathered.
4. Before his fame in 'American Idol', he went viral once
Prior to his limelight after his performance of "Diamonds" by Rihanna on the "American Idol" in its 19th season in 2021; the song elevated his career a couple of years ago when a video of him singing it at his high school in Douglas went viral. Due to this, he chose the song for his audition. Back then, he was also invited to The Steve Harvey Show to perform in 2018.
5. Willie Spence was a runner up in the American Idol finale
Willie Spence grabbed a runner-up position in the American Idol following the Grande Finale between Spence, Grace Kinstler, and Chayce Beckham. Chayce Beckham won the title beating out Spence in the final vote. Before host Ryan Seacrest announced the results, the men exchanged "I love yous." And Beckham added, "The bond that we have, it's gonna last forever, I already know. Either way, we're good." When Beckham's name was called, Spence gave him a big hug.
6. Willie had a tragic birth history
His mom, Sharon Spence was 38 when Willie was conceived. She didn't want to have a baby but still, she gave birth. The tragedy happened when his dad Willie Spence Sr. had cut the umbilical cord at the hospital. He stopped breathing soon after. Later, he was saved by the doctors.
7. Willie has already released his own original music
Back in 2021, he released his latest single "So Gone" and also put out a music video for the song. His other songs released are Reckless, One Minute With God, Forever More, Chance On Me, and Notice Me. He has also posted many videos of himself covering other artists’ songs on his official YouTube page, whereas he also shares his own original music. At present, he is working to release more music.
8. He is extremely close to his family
For Willie Spence, 'Family' is everything to him as he was born into a very close family and he spent his early life and childhood age being close to his family. Mainly, he has a strong relationship with his mum as she has supported him with music. Besides his parents, he also has a very solid bond with his grandparents. His family even made a virtual appearance during the episode. "We all love you with all of our hearts," his mom, Sharon, gushed. "We pray that you continue and let God let you climb this ladder of success with American Idol."
9. Spence began his singing career in church
He started singing at the age of 3. Both of his parents have musical backgrounds. His mum is a singer and his dad is a retired pastor and also he plays the guitar. He grew up singing at his granddad's church in Florida. His grandfather was a pastor for 37 years at Provident Missionary Baptist Church in Boynton Beach. When his age was 6, he performed 'Amazing Grace' there. Sadly, his grandfather passed away in March 2021.
10. Willie Spence lost 200 Pounds before his audition in 'American Idol'
Before his appearance for the auditions of 'American Idol', Spence weighed about 600 pounds and lost around 200 pounds of weight. "I turned myself into the hospital to get a checkup because I had pain in my chest," he explained. "The doctors told me they found fluid in my lungs. I weighed 600 pounds. When they told me that, I knew I had to focus more on my health. I went from 600 pounds to 400 pounds". He also admitted "I have a trainer now. I'm doing better. I have no fluid." He lost over 180 pounds by the time he auditioned. "I'm just being healthy and focusing," he said. "If I don’t have good health, I won’t be able to sing."