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Haley Smith (1992–2019), “American Idol” contestant in season 11

American Idol

She wowed the judges with her soulful performance of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good”

Haley Smith was a contestant on the 11th season of “American Idol” in 2012, notable for her soulful voice. Just 18 when she auditioned in Colorado, Smith told the judges about her love of nature and her three jobs as a house cleaner, a restaurant busser, and “a vegetarian working in the meat department.” Smith made it through to the Hollywood round of “American Idol” after judge Steven Tyler praised her performance of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good,” saying, “I love your voice so much. You’re right out of my era and I’m honored to be here listening to your voice.” Smith was eliminated in the show’s second round.

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Died: August 31, 2019 (Who else died on August 31?)

Details of death: Died in a motorcycle accident in Millinocket, Maine at the age of 26.


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Notable quote: “I definitely love being outdoors. It’s where I feel most at peace, you could say.” —From her “American Idol” audition

What people said about her: “My gosh. This is so very sad. Her take on Chaka was so spirited and lovely.” —Journalist Gerrick D. Kennedy

“We are sorry to hear of the passing of Haley Smith and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.” —American Idol

Full obituary: People

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