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Friday, June 14, 2024

Fisk University Alumna & Grammy-Winning Singer, Mandisa, Passes Away At 47

Grammy-winning singer and Fisk University alumna, Mandisa, who rose to fame on season five of “American Idol,” has died, her representative said Friday. She was 47.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” her representative said in a statement to NBC News. “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 statement concluded.

She was found dead in her Nashville home, according to The Tennessean.

A post on the artist’s Facebook page said early Friday: “Mandisa was a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world. She wrote this song for a dear friend who had passed in 2017.”

“Her own words say it best. I’m already home / You’ve got to lay it down / ‘cause Jesus holds me now— / And I am not alone.”

The singer, whose full name is Mandisa Lynn Hundley, shot to stardom after placing ninth on “American Idol.” She went on to win a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2014 for her album “Overcomer.”

Originally from Sacramento, California, Mandisa grew up singing in church and studying vocal performance at American River College. According to her record label artist bio, she continued her studies at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. After college, she worked as a session and backup vocalist for artists including Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood before going on “American Idol.”

Mandisa released six studio albums, the last being 2017’s “Out of the Dark.” 

Tributes poured in following news of Mandisa’s passing.

“Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart,” Christian radio station K-LOVE Chief Media Officer David Pierce shared.

“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,” he added. 

Singer Matthew West, who recorded the 2007 duet “Christmas Makes Me Cry” with Mandisa, said: “I am so incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of my friend Mandisa. I will always cherish the memories of times we spent together hosting award shows, going on tour, and most of all helping her tell her story in the songwriting room.”

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