'American Idol' star and Grammy winner Mandisa Hundley dies aged 47

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By stefan armitage

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Mandisa Hundley, famed for her appearance on American Idol, has passed away at the age of 47.

The heartbreaking news was confirmed by American Christian radio network K-Love, with Chief Media Officer David Pierce issuing a statement expressing condolences for the renowned musician.

American Idol Season 5 finalist Mandisa Hundley has died. Credit: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

In a statement, Pierce revealed that Hundley died at her home in Nashville, adding: "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," the statement continued.

"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."

The cause of Hundley's death has not yet been disclosed.

Hundley, a California native, nurtured her musical talent from a young age, delving into vocal jazz during her college years and later joining the Fisk Jubilee Singers while attending Fisk University in Nashville.

In 2005, she captured the hearts of many when she auditioned for the fifth season of American Idol.

Her rendition of Alicia Keys' 'Fallin'' wowed the judging panel - comprised of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul.

Hundley appeared on the fifth season of the reality show. Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Getty

While Cowell initially praised her performance as "terrific" and advanced her to the next round, his disparaging comment about her weight upon her exit from the judging room sparked outrage. Cowell "joked" at the time: "Do we have a bigger stage this year?"

Host Ryan Seacrest condemned the remarks as "tacky".

Hundley would confront Cowell over his comments, telling him: "You hurt me and I cried, and it was painful. It really was.

"But I want you to know I’ve forgiven you, and that you don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody."

After finishing in 9th place, the season would be won by Taylor Hicks.

But her music career didn't end there. In May 2007, Hundley launched her inaugural single, 'Only the World'. Just a few months later, she introduced her debut album, True Beauty, achieving a historic milestone as the first new female artist to debut at number one on the Top Christian Album charts

Credit: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic for Fox via Getty

In 2014, her album Overcomer earned her the Grammy award for the best contemporary Christian music album.

Our thoughts are with Hundley's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Ray Mickshaw / Getty

'American Idol' star and Grammy winner Mandisa Hundley dies aged 47

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Mandisa Hundley, famed for her appearance on American Idol, has passed away at the age of 47.

The heartbreaking news was confirmed by American Christian radio network K-Love, with Chief Media Officer David Pierce issuing a statement expressing condolences for the renowned musician.

American Idol Season 5 finalist Mandisa Hundley has died. Credit: Jeff Kravitz / Getty

In a statement, Pierce revealed that Hundley died at her home in Nashville, adding: "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," the statement continued.

"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."

The cause of Hundley's death has not yet been disclosed.

Hundley, a California native, nurtured her musical talent from a young age, delving into vocal jazz during her college years and later joining the Fisk Jubilee Singers while attending Fisk University in Nashville.

In 2005, she captured the hearts of many when she auditioned for the fifth season of American Idol.

Her rendition of Alicia Keys' 'Fallin'' wowed the judging panel - comprised of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul.

Hundley appeared on the fifth season of the reality show. Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Getty

While Cowell initially praised her performance as "terrific" and advanced her to the next round, his disparaging comment about her weight upon her exit from the judging room sparked outrage. Cowell "joked" at the time: "Do we have a bigger stage this year?"

Host Ryan Seacrest condemned the remarks as "tacky".

Hundley would confront Cowell over his comments, telling him: "You hurt me and I cried, and it was painful. It really was.

"But I want you to know I’ve forgiven you, and that you don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody."

After finishing in 9th place, the season would be won by Taylor Hicks.

But her music career didn't end there. In May 2007, Hundley launched her inaugural single, 'Only the World'. Just a few months later, she introduced her debut album, True Beauty, achieving a historic milestone as the first new female artist to debut at number one on the Top Christian Album charts

Credit: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic for Fox via Getty

In 2014, her album Overcomer earned her the Grammy award for the best contemporary Christian music album.

Our thoughts are with Hundley's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Ray Mickshaw / Getty