‘American Idol’ Remembers Mandisa With Musical Tribute

American Idol aired a tributed to late contestant Mandisa on Monday, April 29, 2024. (Credit: YouTube/ABC)

American Idol honored one of its beloved alumni, season 5 contestant Mandisa Lynn Hundley.

The Grammy-winning gospel singer, known to fans simply as Mandisa, died earlier this month at age 47.

On the Monday, April 29 episode of the singing competition, former Idol contestants Danny Gokey, Melinda Doolittle, and Colton Dixon — who were all friends with Mandisa — returned to perform a touching rendition of the Mary Mary single “Shackles (Praise You)” — which was the first song Mandisa performed on the Idol stage.

“I’ve known [Mandisa] for over 20 years,” Melinda shared after the tribute. “We started off singing background and sessions together, and then she got on Idol and I cheered for her, and I came the next season and she cheered for me. That is my girl.”

Danny described Mandisa as a positive influence and “cheerleader” for her friends. He said she offered him kinds words and support when he was dropped by his record label.

“It just felt amazing and she was always that person,” he shared.

Related StoryMandisa Dies: ‘American Idol’ Alum and Grammy-Winning Gospel Singer Was 47

Mandisa shot to stardom after placing ninth on American Idol.

Her journey to the top 10 began when she auditioned for the show in 2005 and competed the following year. She went on to release her first album “True Beauty” in 2007. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums charts.

The gospel singer passed away on April 18 at her home in Franklin, outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

An autopsy has been completed, but the official cause of death is pending as the police investigation progresses. The coroner’s report is expected to be released in eight to 12 weeks.

Police in Franklin have stated there is no indication suspicious or criminal activity was involved in her death.

Throughout her career, Mandisa was nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for her 2013 album “Overcomer.”

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