Mandisa, ‘American Idol’ Alum and Grammy-Winning Christian Singer, Dead at 47

Mandisa speaks onstage at the 5th Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry on May 28,
Jason Davis/Getty Images for KLOVE

Mandisa Hundley, an award-winning singer who competed on American Idol and went on to become a Platinum-selling icon of the Christian music world, died Thursday at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 47.

The artist’s cause of death is not yet known, according to an obituary from the Christian radio network K-LOVE:

Born and raised in California, Mandisa first came to national attention when she stood her ground with kindness when critiqued by “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell on Season 5 of the popular TV vocal competition.

The two-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner released five full-length projects and one Christmas LP over the course of her nearly two-decade tenure. 2013’s career-defining album, “Overcomer,” earned the powerhouse vocalist numerous accolades, as well as an array of critical praise and high-profile media coverage, including multiple appearances on “Good Morning America.” In addition to songs of resilience like “Overcomer,” Mandisa became a staple at Christian radio with energetic, faith-affirming singles like “Stronger,” “Good Morning (feat. TobyMac)” and “My Deliverer.”

Even more than her music, the Platinum-selling singer will forever be known for her huge heart and sincerity. Her longtime friend, frequent collaborator and former tourmate TobyMac described her best when he penned an endorsement for her last book. “Since the first day I met Mandisa, she has been nothing but original and courageous,” Toby shared. “My touring family is better when she is out with us. She genuinely supports each artist that takes the stage, as well as every crew member behind the stage. In a single word, I would say without hesitation that she is one of the most authentic people I have ever met. Her heart is to help others.”

Mandisa’s record Overcomer was named Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

TMZ reports that the singer had “no known health issues prior to her passing.”

Mandisa’s rep confirmed the singer’s death to USA Today.

“We ask for your prayers for her family and close-knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time,” the rep added.

Mandisa’s team paid tribute to the star in a post Friday on Instagram, calling her “a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world.”

Mandisa’s team also included lyrics from her song “You Wouldn’t Cry (Andrew’s Song)” in a post on Facebook.

“She wrote this song for a dear friend who had passed in 2017. Her own words say it best. ‘I’m already home You’ve got to lay it down ’cause Jesus holds me now — And I am not alone.”

UPI contributed to this report.


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