Mandisa: Cause of Death for Grammy-Winning American Idol Alum Revealed

Mandisa, a singer who rose to prominence in the fifth season of American Idol and went on to become a Grammy Award-winning Christian artist, died at her home in Nashville, Tenn. on April 18. She was 47.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” a rep for the singer told The Tennessean in a statement on April 19. “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.”

Update: Mandisa died from complications of class III obesity, according to People. It has been listed as a natural death.

David Pierce, Christian radio station KLOVE’s chief media officer, posted a tribute to Mandisa shortly after news of her passing was announced:

“Mandisa loved Jesus, and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about Him at every turn. Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart. Mandisa struggled, and she was vulnerable enough to share that with us, which helped us talk about our own struggles. Mandisa’s struggles are over, she is with the God she sang about now. While we are saddened, Mandisa is home. We’re praying for Mandisa’s family and friends and ask you to join us.”

If you’re a longtime American Idol viewer, you likely first encountered Mandisa’s soaring vocals in 2006. The California native made it to the Top Nine, impressing the judges with memorable performances of songs like Heart’s “Never,” Faith Hill’s “Cry” and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.”

Idol released a statement of its own, calling Mandisa “an adored icon” both on the show and in the music industry. “She had become a platinum-selling artist and had won several Grammys for her music,” the statement reads. “Her passing has left everyone on the show heartbroken, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

Mandisa’s album Overcomer took home the trophy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. She had already been nominated for four additional Grammys.

How will you remember Mandisa? Drop a comment with your favorite songs and memories of the singer below.

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