‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Willie Spence: Where Is He Now?

Willie Spence

ABC Willie Spence

Willie Spence was the runner-up on season 19 of ABC’s “American Idol,” and the star stopped by season 20 to congratulate a contestant on making it through to Hollywood Week.

Spence surprised Taniya Boatwright, who said she was inspired by him during her “American Idol” audition. She sang “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke for her audition, saying that she was bullied about her weight while she was growing up, and she was inspired by Spence during his time on the show.

“Walk in that room with your head held high, and just make sure you stay true to yourself and believe in yourself throughout the whole competition,” Spence told Boatwright.

Spence finished in second place during his time on “American Idol,” losing out to Chayce Beckham in the season finale.


Spence Teased a New Song in February 2022

In February 2022, Spence teased a new song titled “Myself.”

During the Instagram video, he sang with his signature powerful voice while backed by the piano.

“I can see the world is so proud of me / But this ain’t exactly where I wanna be / Not really trying to sound ungrateful,” Spence sings. Later, he says that he’s “bigger than myself” and he plans to “keep on pushing, keep on striving, keep on praying through it all.”

Spence captioned the video with “#deletingsoon,” though it is still up at the time of writing on March 18, 2022. The video lasts for one minute and ten seconds, which was plenty of time to get fans excited about the possibility of a new release by Spence.

On February 25, 2022, Timbaland, a record producer, rapper, and singer-songwriter, shared a video of Spence on his Instagram feed with the caption “SHINE BRIGHT.”

That video received 99,376 likes at the time of writing. Spence currently has nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram.


Spence Released an EP in 2021

Spence released an EP in 2021. The album included six songs, titled “Forever More,” “Chance On Me,” “Reckless,” “So Gone,” “Notice Me,” and “One Minute With God.”

The album did not include the song titled “Pressure,” which Spence previously teased.

The song talks about Spence’s feelings about performing and what it means to him and his family to be where he’s at following his “American Idol” journey.

“So glad I made it now I’ve been great when it felt like I couldn’t take it I thought about my family,” Spence sings.

He goes on to talk about the sleepless nights that he’s spent thinking about his family and dealing with all the pressure he’s been feeling, and he holds some impressive notes throughout.

Spence also played at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in August of 2021. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Spence had a gospel segment in the concert.

“A lot of people love seeing that side of me,” he said at the time. “I sung gospel on the show but I didn’t sing it like I normally do. After this, they’ll see how I was raised, where I came from.”

The outlet reported that Spence has been showing off his talent at “festivals, car shows, and other events,” and that the singer-songwriter is hoping to be working with producers and coming out with a full album at some point in the near future.

“American Idol” airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on ABC.

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