Rickey Smith, 'American Idol' Season 2 Finalist, Dies In Car Crash
Thousands of fans and friends of Rickey Smith shared their condolences on the singer's untimely death this week. According to TMZ, Smith, 36, who was a finalist on season two of American Idol, passed away after a vehicular collision on Interstate 240 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Smith was struck by a car that was driving in the wrong direction Thursday night (May 5). Authorities stated the driver, identified as Gerardo Cerda Jr., 27, was under the influence when he was hospitalized, and will be charged.
Following American Idol, Smith performed in Oz: The Musical in 2008. Below is a video of his Lubbock, Texas performance, where he continued to display his rich vocals on stage.
Ruben Studdard and Melinda Doolittle, who were also contestants on the same season as Smith, took to Instagram to share their thoughts on their friend's passing.
"You were the heart of our season and the true definition of a real friend.." Studdard said. "I will miss you my Friend RIP Ricky Smith. I'm sure you're in heaven singing you're heart out!!!"
As I sit here in utter disbelief about the fact that you went to be with the Lord. I think back on all the fun times we had. How we set up for hours in our room in the Idol Mansion talking and listening to music. How much fun we all had on our very first tour. You were the heart of our season and the true definition of a real friend.. I will miss you my Friend RIP Ricky Smith. I'm sure you're in heaven singing you're heart out!!!
American Idol finalist Clay AIken, and the show's producer Nigel Lythgoe also revealed their sincerest thoughts on the tragic occurrence.
Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today. 💔 Heaven's choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey. 💔
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) May 6, 2016
— Nigel Lythgoe OBE (@dizzyfeet) May 6, 2016