Death Investigation Continues After Former ‘American Idol’ Star is Found Dead

mandisa hundley
Credit: X/MandisaOfficial/Canva

An autopsy has been performed following the tragic death of a former American Idol star, as law enforcement continues an investigation into her death.

mandisa hundley

Credit: Flickr/Jyle Dupuis

The Death of A Singer With a “Massive Smile” & “Electric Smile”

The Contemporary Christian music industry, gospel music fans and fans of ABC’s American Idol are mourning the sudden and untimely passing of a former Idol contestant who went on to become a Dove Award- and Grammy Award-winning musician.

Christian and gospel recording artist Mandisa Hundley, known best as just “Mandisa,” was found dead in her Franklin, Tennessee, home on Thursday, April 18. Her death was confirmed to media outlet TMZ by her father, and later by her publicist.

mandisa hundley

Credit: YouTube/Vevo

The late singer was a contestant during the fifth season of American Idol, during which she was named among the Top 10 finalists. Her cause of death remains unknown, and as of the time of this publication, there has been no mention of survivors aside from the singer’s father.

Death Investigation Continues

An autopsy was performed by the Davidson County Medical Examiner, and though the autopsy has been completed, the Franklin Police Department said on Monday that they are “continuing to investigate” the death of a female found deceased inside a home located on Beamon Drive in the city of Franklin.

The woman was later identified by the coroner as Mandisa Hundley. She was 47 years old.

A spokesperson with the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office said it will likely be between eight and 12 weeks before the results of the autopsy will be available and released. At this time, however, her death does not appear to be the result of criminal activity.

“At this time, there is no indication the death was the result of suspicious or criminal activity,” said Franklin Police Department spokesperson Max Winitz. “The Franklin Police Department send its condolences to Hundley’s family, friends, and fans.”

mandisa hurley CCM recording artist

Credit: Disney/ABC/Good Morning America

An Outpouring of Love & Condolences Online

Across social media, there has been an outpouring of love, compassion, and condolences from Mandisa’s fans and other artists with whom she collaborated over the course of her musical career. CCM recording artist Toby McKeehan, better known as TobyMac, wrote about Mandisa on X, formerly Twitter, describing the late musician as a “beautiful soul” and saying he’d “never met an artist who is more encouraging and supportive” than Mandisa.

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, best known for her roles in the television series Community, The Mayor, Drake and Josh, Act Your Age, and the Disney+ series Big Shot, as well as films including Tropic Thunder, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and Avengers: Endgame posted a reply on Mandisa’s official X account, saying:

Once upon a time, I got to sing background for my supremely talented friend. I will never forget this joyous day, or her. Rest in peace, love. 

David Pierce, Chief Media Officer at Christian radio station K-LOVE, released a statement on Friday, saying, in part:

Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart . . . She is with the God she sang about now. While we are saddened, Mandisa is home. We’re praying for Mandisa’s family and friends and ask you to join us.

mandisa hundley

Credit: Sparrow Records

Throughout her career, Mandisa passionately embraced her faith, sharing that faith with others through the lyrics of her songs. Following her elimination from American Idol in 2006, she went on to release her debut album, True Beauty, in 2007.

Her first album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and ultimately earned Mandisa the first of five Grammy nominations. She won Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for her 2013 album, titled Overcomer, which garnered acclaim from both fans and critics alike.

mandisa hundley

Credit: X/Mandisa Official

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her family, friends, and fans during this very difficult time.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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