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‘American Idol’ Alum Mandisa’s Cause of Death Revealed

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Mandisa died of complications from class III obesity, according to an autopsy report obtained by People on Tuesday (June 4). The Grammy-winning American Idol finalist was 47 years old when she was found dead on April 18.


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According to the autopsy report, when she was found in her Tennessee home by friends, she “was last known alive approximately three weeks” earlier. The report lists her manner of death as natural.

In April, a representative for Mandisa confirmed her death to Billboard, adding: “We ask for your prayers for her family and close-knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

After competing on season 5 of American Idol in 2006 and finishing in ninth place, Mandisa released her first album, True Beauty, the next year, with the project debuting atop Billboard‘s Top Christian Albums chart.

In 2011, Mandisa earned her first No. 1 on Billboard‘s Christian Airplay chart with “Stronger” and earned a top 20 hit on the chart with “Good Morning” featuring TobyMac. But her biggest success came with 2013’s Overcomer, which earned her the Grammy for best contemporary Christian music album and whose title track spent 10 weeks atop Billboard‘s Hot Christian Songs chart.

Mandisa’s Idol peers paid tribute to the late singer last month during the show’s 22nd season, with Melinda Doolittle (season 6), Danny Gokey (season 8) and Colton Dixon (season 11) all returning to the show to perform the song “Shackles (Praise You)” in her honor.

“Not only did our industry lose a really big voice and a powerhouse of a person, but Christian music lost its No. 1 cheerleader,” Dixon said in an interview with Billboard ahead of the tribute’s airing.

Katie Atkinson
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