Douglas native advances on American Idol

Updated: Apr. 17, 2021 at 12:05 AM EDT
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DOUGLAS, Ga. (WALB) - A Georgia-grown singer continues to rise through Hollywood on the hit ABC show “American Idol.”

Douglas native Willie Spence recently advanced into the top 12 on the show.

WALB News10's Bobby Poitevint spoke to Willie over Zoom.
WALB News10's Bobby Poitevint spoke to Willie over Zoom.(source: WALB)

“I’m excited and I have America to thank for that,” said Spence.

Spence will hit the stage again Sunday with a song that he believes is a powerful message considering what the world is facing right now.

“I’ll be singing Stand Up by Cynthia Erivo this Sunday night for the Oscar round. So, I’m definitely excited about that,” Spence told WALB News 10.

Right now, the world knows his voice from Idol but that’s not where his love and passion for music started. Instead, it was at his grandfather’s church, even before that, at the age of 5 years old.

Willie and his grandfather.
Willie and his grandfather.(source: Willie Spence)

“I really wasn’t a singer, I was a drummer. Not many really know that,” said Spence.

Spence’s grandfather continued to be a legend for him but sadly lost his battle to COVID-19 last month.

Spence wasn’t able to make it to the funeral but he wrote a song, a tribute to his grandfather that was played at his funeral. He said that song may or may not be released. He said it was one of the most difficult pieces of music he’s ever written.

“Cause it’s a bunch of emotions you know, bogged up that I put out, you know, on that record. And you know it was definitely hard because it was recent so it was definitely hard, you know, for me to write and record a song,” explained Spence.

Spence is pumping out music now and there are even some singles available to download.

He said he’s a storyteller and likes to write himself into those stories, whether they be fact or fiction.

“I write about stuff that different people may be going through. I may not be going through it but others may be going through,” said Spence.

Spence said that no matter what happens on “American Idol,” his pathway will always be music.

“Continue doing music and hopefully be able to go on tour, get some albums done. You know, just have a fresh start for my career, a new beginning,” said Spence.

“American Idol” airs on ABC, Sunday night at 8.

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