'American Idol' Alum Mandisa Dies Unexpectedly

Mandisa competed on 'American Idol' Season 5 in 2006.

There's sad news in the American Idol community today, as one of the show's alumni has died. TMZ reports that Mandisa, who competed in the fifth season of American Idol, passed away unexpectedly this week. She was 47.

Mandisa was reportedly found dead in her home in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father confirmed her death to TMZ, who stated that is was "a total shock to the family." The outlet added that they were told Mandisa had "no known health issues prior to her passing, and her cause of death is not currently known."

(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Originally from California, Mandisa moved to Tennessee in the early 2000s for college, and eventually auditioned for American Idol in 2005. The following year, she made it to the top 9 before being eliminated. Afterward, Mandisa went on to start a career in Gospel music, working with artists like Kirk Franklin and TobyMac. In 2014 she won a Grammy for her fifth studio album, Overcomer.

Throughout the years, Mandisa had been an advocate for mental health, and had been candid about struggling with her own. In 2017, she opened up during an ABC News interview and confessed that she'd contemplated suicide in the past. It's unclear if her death is related to her mental health struggles.

David Pierce, Chief Media Officer for Christian radio station K-Love, said of Mandisa, "Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart. Mandisa struggled, and she was vulnerable enough to share that with us, which helped us talk about our own struggles."

"Mandisa's struggles are over," he added. "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." 

At this time, Mandisa's cause of death is unknown.