Mandisa, the Grammy award-winning ‘American Idol’ alumnus, has died at the age of 47

Mandisa, the Grammy award-winning ‘American Idol’ alumnus, has died at the age of 47

Passionate gospel artist Mandisa, a Grammy-winning singer who got her start as a contestant on “American Idol” in 2006, has died, according to a statement on her verified social media. He is 47 years old.

“We can confirm yesterday that Mandisa was found dead at her home. At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details,” the post read. “We ask for your prayers for his family and close friends during this very difficult time. Mandisa is a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all over the world.”

Mandisa lives in Nashville, according to The Tennessean. CNN has reached out to his representative for comment.

Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in Citrus Heights, California, she began singing in church. Music became a part of his life.

He studied vocal jazz at American River College in Sacramento, California, before attending Fisk University in Nashville, where he was a member of the famous Fisk University Jubilee choir.

She auditioned for “American Idol” in 2005 and eventually became a contestant on the fifth season of the singing competition show, which aired in 2006.

Even among her fellow competitors, including Katherine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Chris Daughtry and eventual season winner Taylor Hicks, Mandisa stood out because of her powerful voice and shining spirit.

His elimination from the competition’s top 10 did not stop him from pursuing his professional dreams. Mandisa would go on to release her debut album, “True Beauty,” in 2007. The album debuted at No. 1 Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and earned Mandisa her first Grammy nomination.

Five more albums would follow: “It’s Christmas” in 2008; “Freedom” in 2009; “What If We Were Real” in 2011; “Overcomer” in 2013; and “Out of the Dark” in 2017.

“Overcomer” earned him a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album in 2014.

Along with success, there were also difficult times that challenged his faith. According to Mandisa’s website, “After mass prayers failed to prevent her dearest friend from dying of cancer, Mandisa withdrew, wrestled with God and fell into a deep depression.”

“Honestly, that’s not the way I thought things would turn out. I’m upset with God,” she said of her friend Kisha’s death. “I’m angry because when I prayed for her, I believed God would heal her. I’m not the type of person who clenches my fist at God and screamed and screamed. I just shut down and started turning to food again for comfort.”

Mandisa documented her mental health struggles in her 2022 memoir, “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy” in hopes of helping others.

“I want to encourage people who may have loved ones who may be in the midst of mental health issues,” he said in an interview shared on Instagram in 2022. “Don’t think that even if your message doesn’t go through that they didn’t hear it.”

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