Grammy-Winning Singer Mandisa Dies from Complications of Class III Obesity

Mandisa’s album “Overcomer” earned her a Grammy in 2014 for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.

American Idol singer Mandisa died of Class III obesity.

Grammy-winning gospel singer Mandisa, who gained fame during season five of “American Idol,” passed away due to complications related to class III obesity, according to an autopsy report. The 47-year-old artist was discovered deceased in her Franklin home near Nashville, Tennessee, on April 18.

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The Nashville medical examiner’s office confirmed to NBC News that her death was categorized as natural causes.

Class III obesity is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher accompanied by obesity-related health issues. This condition can lead to severe health problems, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in California, she began her musical journey singing in church. She later pursued vocal performance studies at American River College in California and Fisk University in Nashville, as noted by her record label’s biography.

Mandisa’s career included working as a backup vocalist for various artists before she competed on “American Idol,” where she finished in ninth place. Her album “Overcomer” earned her a Grammy in 2014 for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.

Throughout her career, Mandisa was candid about her struggles with health and weight. In a 2017 interview with “Good Morning America,” she shared her battle with severe depression following the death of a close friend in 2014, which led her to consider suicide. During this difficult period, she turned to emotional eating and isolation.

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“(Emotional eating) is what I have done my entire life,” Mandisa revealed. “After losing over 120 pounds, which I discussed during my first visit here, I regained it all plus 75 more. I sank into the deepest depression of my life after Kisha died.”

Her friends eventually intervened, helping her to seek the support she needed.

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