Mandisa, Grammy-winning singer and ‘American Idol’ alum, has died at 47

Mandisa Lynn Hundley, a contemporary Christian singer who appeared on “American Idol” and won a Grammy for her 2013 album “Overcomer”, has died. She was 47. She was found dead in her home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday. The cause of her death was not yet known. She was born near Sacramento, California, and grew up singing in church. She gained stardom after finishing ninth on “American Idol” in 2006.

Mandisa was a great spirit on the show. She moved on, releasing her debut album in 2007 called “True Beauty” which received a Grammy nomination that year for best pop and contemporary gospel album. “True Beauty” debuted at the top of Billboard’s Christian album chart, a first for a female artist, and at No. 43 on the Billboard 200. Her first single off the album, “Only the World”, debuted at No. 2 on the hot singles chart and reached No. 1 in its second week.

Mandisa went on to release five more albums, including a Christmas album. In 2014, she won a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album for “Overcomer”, her fifth album. She spoke openly about her struggles with depression, releasing a memoir entitled “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy” in 2022 that detailed her experiences with severe depression, weight-related challenges, the covid pandemic, and her faith.

Mandisa’s dream was that her book will be a tool used in living rooms and coffee shops all over the world to help prompt discussions about mental health.

She hoped the conversations her book sparks can lead to healing. On Friday, the Christian radio network K-Love paid tribute to the singer on social media, “Mandisa struggled, and she was vulnerable enough to share that with us, which helped us talk about our own struggles.” She loved Jesus, and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about Him at every turn.

Mandisa’s kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart. She struggled, and she was vulnerable enough to share that with us, which helped us talk about our own struggles. Her struggles are over, she is with the God she sang about now. While we are saddened, she is home. She auditioned for Season 5 of “American Idol” in 2005 and became a favorite on the show when it aired a year later.

Mandisa advanced to the top nine contestants before being eliminated. During her run, she sang hits like “I’m Every Woman”, “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”, “Any Man of Mine”, “Shackles (Praise You)”, and more. Her other albums included “It’s Christmas” (2008), “Freedom” (2009), “What if We Were Real” (2011), “Overcomer” (2013), “Out of the Dark” (2017), and a greatest hits album in 2020.

Mandisa received Grammy nominations for best pop/contemporary gospel album for “True Beauty” and “Freedom” and for contemporary Christian music album with “What if We Were Real”.

Mandisa’s win finally came when “Overcomer” earned a trophy for contemporary Christian album, plus an additional nom for gospel/contemporary Christian performance for the title track. She was one of just five “American Idol” alumi to win a Grammy, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Tori Kelly. She was a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world.

Mandisa sang in her church and studied vocal performance at American River College and later Fisk University in Nashville. She pursued a career in Christian Music and wrote extensively about her faith in her memoir and music. “American Idol” remembered her as an adored icon on the show and in the music industry. She had become a platinum-selling artist and had won several Grammys for her music.

Mandisa’s passing has left everyone on the show heartbroken. Taylor Hicks, who won season 5 of “American Idol”, remembered her as “a power house vocalist” and graduated to a wonderful career in gospel music.