The music world is mourning the loss of Mandisa Hundley, the Grammy-winning artist and former “American Idol” star, whose death has been attributed to “complications of class III obesity” according to the official autopsy report. Mandisa, who was 47, passed away naturally with no suspicious circumstances, as confirmed by the Franklin Police Department and the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office. The toxicology tests showed no abnormalities, reinforcing the natural manner of her death.

Found unresponsive in her home in Franklin, Tennessee, on April 18, Mandisa weighed 488 pounds at the time of her demise. Class III obesity, also known as severe obesity, is diagnosed in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or 35 and above with serious related health conditions.

Mandisa first rose to fame during the fifth season of “American Idol,” finishing in the top nine. She subsequently released her debut album “True Beauty” in 2007, which climbed to the top of the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. Her 2013 album “Overcomer” earned her a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, cementing her status in the industry, via NBC News.

Following her passing, “American Idol” paid tribute to her, stating, “Mandisa was an adored icon on ‘American Idol’ and in the music industry. She had become a platinum-selling artist and had won several Grammys for her music. Her passing has left everyone on the show heartbroken, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

In a heartfelt episode of “American Idol,” alumni Colton Dixon, Melinda Doolittle, and Danny Gokey performed “Shackles (Praise You)” by Mary Mary in her memory. Her father, John Hundley, expressed the family’s grief to News 2, saying, “She brought such joy to our family, to our lives that we’re just going to miss her every day.”

Danny Gokey, sharing his sentiments on Instagram, wrote, “Devastated to hear about the sudden loss of Mandisa. Not only did we connect over being American Idol alumni – we had a great time on the road doing several tours together. Her joy was infectious & I loved her heart to encourage people on & off stage! Mandisa, you left too soon – our community will never be the same without you.”

Mandisa’s life was marked by significant challenges. Following the death of her best friend and backup singer, Kisha Mitchell, in 2014, Mandisa fell into a deep depression. This period of grief contributed to her weight gain and withdrawal from public life. She discussed these struggles openly in a 2017 interview with People magazine, describing how she coped by watching television and isolating herself at home.

Her road to recovery involved counseling and a renewed focus on her mental and physical health, which she detailed in her 2017 album “Out of the Dark” and her 2022 memoir. Mandisa’s journey underscores the complexities of mental health and obesity, and her legacy continues to inspire those who face similar struggles.



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