‘American Idol’ contestant Haley Smith dies in motorcycle crash at 26

Taryn Ryder Haley Smith, a contestant who appeared on season 11 of American Idol, died over the weekend after a motorcycle crash in Millinocket, Ma

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Taryn Ryder

Haley Smith, a contestant who appeared on season 11 of American Idol, died over the weekend after a motorcycle crash in Millinocket, Maine. She was 26.

According to reports, Smith was pronounced dead at the scene following a single-vehicle accident that occurred around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Police say she failed to navigate a sharp turn. Her father spoke to TMZ and speculated a deer might have caused her to veer off the road, as his daughter was a good rider who likely wouldn’t have lost control of her bike.

Haley Smith appears on a 2012 episode of American Idol. (Photo: American Idol/Fremantle/19 Entertainment via YouTube)

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Smith auditioned for American Idol in 2012 in front of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Just 18 at the time and working in a restaurant, she dreamed of being a singer. Although Smith didn’t make it past the second Hollywood round, the judges were impressed with her audition, where Lopez remarked that she had a “’60s, ’70s vibe.”

“I really do enjoy that era of music,” Smith replied, before belting out Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good.”

“You put your own spin … on the R&B classic,” Jackson admired. “I love that.”

“I love your voice so much, you’re right out of my era and I’m honored to be here listening to your voice,” Tyler remarked.

All three judges said yes.

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