Smith, who memorably donned a disco-fabulous Afro wig for a performance of Earth Wind and Fire’s “Let’s Groove” and wound up finishing eighth behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, was 36.
He was also known for smiling and chanting “Hercules! Hercules!” during his run on the show.
According to TMZ, Smith’s vehicle was hit head-on by another car traveling the wrong way down Oklahoma’s I-240. That driver was booked for DUI.
Several of Smith’s Idol compatriots took to social media to express their sadness over his passing:
Watch Smith’s Country Week performance of “I’ve Done Enough Dyin’ Today” — as well as a duet with Season 6’s Melinda Doolittle on “You’re All I Need to Get By” — below, then share your own memories in the comments.