Grammy Winner Mandisa Dies at Age 47: 'She Is with the God She Sang About'

Grammy-winning artist Mandisa Lynn Hundley, who was known professionally as Mandisa and who inspired millions with upbeat, positive songs such as Overcomer and Stronger, died Thursday at the age of 47. A cause of death has not been released as of this writing.

Mandisa’s vibrant personality and powerful voice helped her finish in the Top 9 of 2006’s American Idol, after which she found a home in contemporary Christian music. Her first album, True Beauty, soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Christian album charts, as did her last two albums, Overcomer and Out of the Dark.

In 2022 she released a book, Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy, where she opened up about her battle with depression. She also co-hosted a podcast, Out of the Dark with Mandisa and Laura Williams.

“Mandisa loved Jesus, and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about Him at every turn,” said David Pierce, K-LOVE’s chief media officer. “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, 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’s official Instagram page said the singer “was found in her home deceased.”

“At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details,” the statement said. “We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

A Franklin, Tenn., Police Department spokesperson told the Tennessean: “Our officers responded to a residence for a death investigation Thursday evening, and it's being actively investigated.”

Overcomer was a life anthem for countless people, with the official video amassing 54 million YouTube streams.

Fans on K-LOVE’s Instagram page posted tributes and said her music impacted their lives.

“I listened to Overcomer over and over when I was trying to get clean from meth,” one person wrote. “... I am an OVERCOMER I now have a 2 story house [and] my kids [are] good. … praise God. Thank you Mandisa for all your wonderful music.”

Another person wrote, “I sat in my car one morning, really struggling, not sure how I was going to make ends meet and do what I needed to do for my son. Then Mandisa's song Overcomer came on klove. I knew in that moment that God was speaking to me through her and through klove. I'll never forget that moment.”

Still another person wrote, “She was the most beautiful, talented, inspirational woman! Her faith was so strong and beautiful!”

Christian artists, too, posted tributes.

“Devastated to hear about the sudden loss of Mandisa,” CCM artist Danny Gokey wrote. “Not only did we connect over being American Idol alumni -- we had a great time on the road doing several tours together. Her joy was infectious & I loved her heart to encourage people on & off stage! When I made my debut in Christian music she was my greatest supporter. It wasn’t easy coming off my first failed record deal after the show but she was the one who welcomed me first and loudest and rallied everyone to support me. Mandisa you left too soon -- our community will never be the same without you.”

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Mac Powell called her “one of the sweetest, most talented, beautiful, Jesus lovin’ humans I have EVER known.”

Mandisa was a five-time Grammy nominee and won a Grammy for her album Overcomer. She also won Dove Awards and K-LOVE Fan Awards. Her social media bio labeled her a “Christ Representer.”

She collaborated with TobyMac, Matthew West, Michael W. Smith, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz and Jon Reddick, according to a tribute on K-LOVE’s website.

In 2022, she told Crosswalk Headlines she wrote her book, Out of the Dark, in hopes that it would spark an open discussion among Christians about mental health.

“Ultimately,” she said, “Psalm 40:3 is my prayer for it. ‘As many will hear what God has done, they will be amazed and they will put their hope in Him.’ I hope that as people read it, that it will encourage other people to maybe take steps on their own mental health journey, because so many of us are walking through it. And I hope it will encourage people to walk through it with God and not try to do it on your own.”

4 Things Mandisa Reveals about Her Battle with Depression in Her Book, Out of the Dark
Mandisa's music on

Image credit: ©Getty Images / Terry Wyatt / Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.