'American Idol' alum Mandisa died from complications of obesity: report


Mandisa was widely known for showcasing her talents on Season Five of 'American Idol' in 2006. Photo: AP

Mandisa, the Grammy winning Christian music singer and former American Idol contestant, died in April from complications of class III obesity, according to an autopsy report.

Documents obtained by People listed the singer's manner of death as natural and noted that the 47-year-old was found dead in her Tennessee home on April 18. The singer "was last known alive approximately three weeks" before her death, the report said.

A representative for Mandisa, born Mandisa Lynn Hundley, confirmed the singer's death to The Times on April 19. "At this time, we do not know the cause of death or any further details," the representative said at the time.

Mandisa's autopsy report confirms her father John Hundley's belief that his daughter "did not [harm herself]," which he expressed to Fox News Digital in May. He told the outlet that detectives "looked for signs that she may have harmed herself, and there were no signs to indicate that she did anything" of that nature. During a celebration of Mandisa's life in late April, Hundley said he believed his daughter "fell down in her bedroom."

Days after news of the Overcomer singer's death broke, Tennessee police confirmed to The Times that there were no signs of foul play.

Cleveland Clinic defines class III obesity as a "chronic condition" in which a person has a body mass index of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher while experiencing obesity-related health conditions. "Class III obesity can contribute to several serious health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease," the clinic says.

Mandisa was a five-time Grammy nominee who earned her first award for her 2014 album, Overcomer. While her legacy includes songs Good Morning and You Keep Hope Alive, she was most widely known for showcasing her talents on Season Five of American Idol in 2006.

The long-running singing competition remembered Mandisa in an Instagram statement and with a musical tribute by former contestants Melinda Doolittle, Colton Dixon and Danny Gokey in an Idol episode that aired in late April. The singers, all dressed in white, delivered a cover of Mary Mary's Shackles (Praise You), which Mandisa performed during her time on the series.

"I think she came in praising, I think she left praising," Dixon said after the performance. "We're gonna miss her, but our loss is heaven's gain." – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

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