May 22, 2024

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American Idol singer Mandisa Hundley dies at the age of 47

American Idol singer Mandisa Hundley dies at the age of 47

Mandisa Hundley, the gospel singer whose powerful songs earned applause on “American Idol” and who later won a Grammy Award for best contemporary Christian music album, was found dead in her Nashville home on Thursday. She was 47 years old.

The media group, which represented Ms. Hundley, confirmed the death and said in a statement that the cause was unknown.

Ms. Hundley, who performed and produced music with Christian themes, was a fan favorite on “American Idol” in 2006, but became the fourth of 12 finalists to be eliminated.

She spoke openly about her love for God, and her music resonated with fans.

Ms. Hundley famously stood up to Simon Cowell, the “American Idol” judge, who has a reputation for intimidation. In her video interview for the show, she referred to an audition she had in Chicago, when Mr. Cowell, in an apparent joke about her weight, said after she left the room: “Do we have a bigger stage this year?”

Ms. Hundley said in the video that despite the remark, she would still travel to Hollywood and confront Mr. Cowell at the final judgement.

“When I got to Hollywood, I knew I had to do my best,” she said. “I knew I would finally be able to speak about my essay.”

She later told Mr Coyle: “You hurt me, and I cried.” “But I want you to know that I have forgiven you.” Mr. Cowell replied that he was “humble,” and the two embraced.

Mrs. Hundley He told The Oklahoman in 2006 Her faith helped her overcome Mr. Cowell's hurtful remark.

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“Food has always been an issue for me,” she said. “When Simon first made those comments, it was a nightmare. But God turned it around. Those words became the motivation I needed to start my plan to live a healthier lifestyle and take control of my eating.

She went on to record several albums, starting with 2007's “True Beauty.” Her 2013 Grammy Award-winning album, “Overcomer,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart. This was her first Grammy Award after three previous nominations.

Mandisa Lynn Hundley was born in Sacramento on October 2, 1976, to John Hundley and Ruby Perryman. Her mother worked for the state. She sang in church and studied vocal performance at American River College, a community college in Sacramento, before continuing her studies at Fisk University in Nashville.

After college, she was a backup singer for Trisha Yearwood and Shania Twain.

She is survived by her parents and her brother, John Hundley.

On her 2017 album “Out of the Dark,” she addressed her struggle with depression, which she also wrote about in her memoir of the same name, published in 2022.

“My dream” is “Good morning, America,” he said. “It is that this book will be a tool used in living rooms and cafes around the world to help stimulate discussions about our mental health.”

Emmett Lindner Contributed to reports.