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‘American Idol’ alum Mandisa’s cause of death revealed

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“American Idol” alum Mandisa died of complications related to class III obesity, according to multiple reports.

According to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ, she was 488 pounds at the time of her death.

Per the outlet, there was nothing abnormal in her toxicology report and her manner of death was ruled as natural.

Class III obesity is diagnosed when a person has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or has a BMI of 35 or higher and is simultaneously experiencing obesity-related Health issues, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Mandisa on American Idol
“American Idol” star Mandisa died from class III obesity-related complications, per her autopsy report. FilmMagic for Fox Television Network
Mandisa on American Idol
The singer was found dead at her home in Nashville on April 19.

Mandisa’s cause of death was revealed less than two months after she was found dead by friends in her Nashville home on April 19. She was 47.

According to TMZ, her body was found “in a state of decomposition” and she was last known to be alive approximately three weeks before the discovery.

Page Six has reached out to Mandisa’s reps for comment and Davidson County, Tenn., for confirmation on the autopsy report.

Following news of her death, the singer — whose full name was Mandisa Hundley — was immediately honored by friends and fans alike, including former “American Idol” competitor and Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks.

Mandisa on American Idol
Mandisa was 47 years old when she was found by friends. Jason Merritt/FilmMagic.com
Mandisa
She was last known to be alive about three weeks before her body was found. Getty Images

“Mandisa was a power house vocalist on our season of ‘Idol’ and she graduated to a wonderful career in Gospel music,” Hicks said in a statement to People.

“Better yet, she was a power house person and all of us will miss her dearly.”

“Even more than her music, the Platinum-selling singer will forever be known for her huge heart and sincerity,” David Pierce, the chief media officer of Christian radio station K-Love, said in another statement.

Mandisa
Mandisa’s father denied that she harmed herself before the autopsy report was released. Getty Images for KLOVE
Mandisa
“Mandisa loved the Lord and the Lord loved Mandisa,” he explained. Getty Images

“Mandisa loved Jesus, and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about Him at every turn. 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,” Pierce continued.

“Mandisa’s struggles are over. She is with the God she sang about now. While we are saddened, Mandisa is home.”

Mandisa sitting
Mandisa was also a mental health advocate and an advocate for sexual assault survivors. WireImage
Mandisa on American Idol
The singer opened up about the sexual abuse she endured throughout her childhood and as a teenager in her 2022 memoir, “Out of the Dark.” WireImage
Mandisa
She told “GMA” in March 2022 that she hoped her book would “prompt discussions about our mental health.” WireImage

Mandisa’s father, John Hundley, denied that his daughter harmed herself during a service at Brentwood Baptist Church in Nashville in late April.

During his speech, he theorized that she fell because of large rugs and clothing on her floor. He also noted she was “weak” while trying to recover from COVID-19.

In addition to being a popular Christian musician, the “Good Morning” songstress was a figure for sexual assault survivors and a mental health advocate, as she was open about the rape she endured as a teenager and the molestation she suffered throughout her childhood.


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She spoke about her trauma in her 2022 memoir, “Out of the Dark,” and revealed she considered suicide after going through such devastating events. However, she recalled concerned friends forced her into therapy, which helped turn her mentality around.

“My dream is that this book will be a tool used in living rooms and coffee shops all over the world to help prompt discussions about our mental health,” she told “Good Morning America” in March 2022. “I’ve learned firsthand that talking about it helps it lose some of its power.”

Mandisa smiling
Mandisa was best known as a top 10 contestant on Season 5 of “American Idol.” WireImage
Mandisa on American idol
She released her debut album, “True Beauty, in 2007. WireImage
Mandisa singing
She won the best contemporary Christian music album Grammy in 2014. WireImage

Mandisa rose to fame after she made it to the Top 10 on the fifth season of “American Idol.”

After being voted off the singing competition series, she released her debut album, “True Beauty,” in 2007 and found her niche as a Christian radio favorite.

She went on to win a Grammy for the best contemporary Christian music album for 2013’s “Overcomer.”

Mandisa also earned Grammy nominations for her albums “True Beauty,” “Freedom” and “What If We Were Real.”

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-330-0226.

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