Ex-American Idol Star Dead at 47

(RepublicanDaily.org) – An American Idol alumni has been found dead inside her home in Franklin, Tennessee.

Singer Mandisa Hundley, who went by Mendisa, appeared during the reality singing show’s fifth season. She competed with stars such as Katharine McPhee, with Taylor Hicks eventually emerging as the winner for the season.

Officers from the Franklin Police Department said that Hundley’s body was found “inside a residence” on April 18. Police are still conducting an active investigation into Hundley’s death, but authorities said that an initial investigation seems to indicate that there was no foul play involved in the singer’s demise.

Representatives for the 47-year-old singer confirmed the news of her death, and she was also identified by the medical examiner.

Police have provided no other details regarding the cause of death. Hundley, however, had opened up in the past about battling depression, chronicling her journey in her memoir entitled, “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy.”

Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in Citrus Heights, California, Hundley earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Nashville’s Fisk University in 2000, where she was also a member of the school’s Fisk University Jubilee Singers. After finishing school, Hundley went on to work as session vocalist and backup vocals for singers such as Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood. She entered American Idol in 2005 during the show’s fifth season, auditioning during the show’s stop in Chicago.

She wowed the judges with her powerful vocals and became one of the season’s more memorable contestants due to her ardent Christian faith. She also delivered a powerful speech during her stay on the show, addressing judge Simon Cowell, who had made several disparaging comments regarding her weight. She told Cowell – known for making snide quips to contestants – that his words hurt her and were painful.

“But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you,” she said, citing the grace Jesus Christ exhibited when he forgave “all of my wrongs.”

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