Grammy award winner Mandisa dies at 47

Grammy award winner Mandisa dies at 47

Friday, April 19, 2024 3:47 pm

Mandisa Lynn Hundley

Mandisa Lynn Hundley

By Nehru Odeh

Grammy award-winning singer Mandisa Lynn Hundley, known professionally as Mandisa, has died at the age of 47. The cause of death is yet unknown, Daily Mail reported.

Mandisa was an American gospel and contemporary Christian recording artist.

A former American Idol contestant, she competed on the fifth season of the show, finishing in ninth place. After that, she went on to have a celebrated career in Christian music.

MMandisa was the fifth American Idol alumna to win a Grammy Award for her album Overcomer in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album category.

She won the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for Overcomer at the 56th Grammy Awards. The title song from the album also won Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for songwriters David Garcia, Ben Glover, and Christopher Stevens.

She, however, declined to attend the Grammy Awards, saying, “I have fallen prey to the alluring pull of flesh, pride, and selfish desires quite a bit recently. …I knew that submerging myself into an environment that celebrates those things was risky for me at this time.

Even more than her music, the Platinum-selling singer will forever be known for her huge heart and sincerity,’ Christian radio station K-Love said in a statement announcing her passing.

Mandisa was a native of Citrus Heights, California, and studied vocal jazz at American River College in Sacramento and music at Fisk University in Tennessee.

The singer auditioned for American Idol in 2005, citing her musical influences as being everything from Def Leppard to Whitney Houston.

During her first appearance on the show, judge Simon Cowell made several jokes about her weight saying: ‘Do we have a bigger stage this year?’

When fellow host Paula Abdul said that Mandisa’s voice sounded ‘French,’ Cowell jumped in and said that a more appropriate comparison would be to the country of France.

The joke prompted complaints from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

Later in the season, Mandisa finally responded to Cowell.

‘What I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it was. But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you and that you don’t need someone to apologize to forgive somebody,’ she said.

I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you.’

Cowell apologized and said he was ‘humbled’ by her words.

Mandisa had health and weight loss issues while alive. The title of her second album, “Freedom”, was inspired by her experience of overcoming an addiction to food. As of March 2009, she had reportedly lost 75 pounds and hoped to lose a total of 100 or more. As of February 2011, she reached her goal of losing 100 pounds.

In 2013, after the loss of a close friend to breast cancer, Mandisa gained back much of the weight she had originally lost. She also had depression and suicidal thoughts. This loss, coupled with a sense of deep betrayal by God, led her into a dark place, and her virtual disappearance from both public and private view.

In May 2017, Mandisa returned to public view, and began to open up about her ordeals, around the same time as the release of her album, “Out of the Dark”. She had not recorded an album in three years. She passed away at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 18th, 2024.

Born on 2 October 1976 in Citrus Heights, California, she graduated from El Camino Fundamental High School, She later attended American River College in Sacramento where she studied Vocal Jazz. Then she studied at Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in vocal performance.



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