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

Mandisa at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards - Arrivals, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA 01-31-10 — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos

Mandisa, an American Idol season 5 contestant who became a Grammy Award-winning Christian music artist, has died. She was 47.

The singer passed away on Thursday, April 18, at her home in Nashville, the Tennessean reported.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” read a statement posted Friday on Mandisa’s official Facebook page. “At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details. We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

The singer was born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in Citrus Heights, California on Oct. 2, 1976.

Hundley studied music at Fisk University in Nashville and was a member of the school’s renowned Jubilee singers. She graduated in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in music.

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She auditioned for American Idol in 2005 — when the singing competition series was known for introducing future stars — and finished in the final 9. That season, Taylor Hicks won the title and Katharine McPhee was the runner-up.

After leaving Idol, Hundley worked with Kirk Franklin and tobyMac, before releasing her first full-length album, True Beauty, in 2007. The alum debuted at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums charts.

Her fourth studio album titled Overcomer was released in 2013. The LP earned a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album category.

Hundley was open about her struggles with obesity and eating, and shared details in her memoir Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy.

“After losing this close friend to cancer, despite months of prayers on her behalf, Mandisa descended into depression, isolating herself and turning to her familiar friend, food, for comfort,” the description for the book says. “Along the way, she also shares her struggles in learning how to love her body and care for her health.”