Mandisa Remembered as ‘A True Beacon of Light’ by Paula Abdul, Taylor Hicks, Danny Gokey & More

On Thursday, the music world lost an irreplaceable voice. In a statement to Billboard, a representative for Grammy-winning Christian contemporary music artist and American Idol alum Mandisa confirmed that the singer passed at age 47 in her home.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” read the statement. “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.”


A contestant on season 5 of American Idol, Mandisa went on to find considerable success in the Christian music industry. All six of her studio albums reached the Billboard 200, with half of those LPs reaching No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart: 2007’s True Beauty, 2013’s Overcomer and 2017’s Out of the Dark. She has also sent several songs onto Hot Christian Songs, including the chart-toppers “Stronger” and “Overcomer,” the latter of which spent a whopping 10 weeks atop the ranking.

In 2014, Mandisa won her first and only Grammy, taking home best contemporary Christian music album for Overcomer. In addition to her five career Grammy nominations, the star accumulated 15 GMA Dove Award nominations, including a win for pop/contemporary album of the year for Overcomer.

On Friday (April 19), Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper Paul Abdul, who served as a judge during Mandisa’s Idol season, called the late vocalist a “true beacon of light.” In a statement to People, she said, “Her warmth and unwavering kindness towards everyone, even in the face of harsh criticism, was truly unmatched. Not only was she a beautiful person, but she was also a true powerhouse performer.”

“I still think of her taking the stage during American Idol to perform her rendition of Chaka Khan‘s ‘I’m Every Woman’ and absolutely brought the house down,” she continued. “I’ll always remember her poise, grace and dignity — and how could anyone forget those incomparable vocals!”

Read on for more tributes to the late Mandisa, including messages of love and remembrance from fellow American Idol alums like Danny Gokey and season 5 champ Taylor Hicks.

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