Singer and ‘American Idol’ finalist Mandisa dies at 47

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gospel singer Mandisa, who rose to national fame on the competition show "American Idol," died at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday. She was 47.

Mandisa Hundley, who used just her first name throughout her singing career, began as a member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a prominent African American choir at Fisk University in Tennessee.

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She gained national fame in 2006 when she made it to the final 10 group of contestants on season five of "American Idol."

"American Idol" Season 5 -Top 20 Finalist, Mandisa Hundley, 29, of Antioch, Tennessee performs. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic for Fox Television Network)"American Idol" Season 5 -Top 20 Finalist, Mandisa Hundley, 29, of Antioch, Tennessee and Ryan Seacrest, host. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic for Fox Television Network)"American Idol" Season 5 -Top 9 Finalist, Mandisa Hundley, 29, from Antioch, Tennessee. (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)Artist Mandisa attends the 6th Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry on May 27, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for KLOVE)

After leaving "American Idol," Mandisa began a career as a recording artist. Three of her first albums were nominated for Grammy Awards; her 2011 album "Overcomer" won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.

“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,” said David Pierce, chief media officer of Christian radio network K-LOVE. “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.”

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Mandisa's public relations team released a statement confirming her death. "We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time," the statement read, in part.

The public relations team said the cause of death was not yet known, and no further details were available.

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