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The Christian Postposted a blog, Thu, 25 Apr, 2024

Police give update on death of Christian artist Mandisa; TobyMac says 'her battle is over'

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Police have provided an update on their investigation into the death of 47-year-old Christian artist Mandissa on April 18 as fellow musicians have reflected on the impact she had on their lives.  

While no cause of death has been revealed, Franklin Police Department officials in Tennessee said Monday that no foul play is suspected.  

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

In a social media post shortly after Hundley was found dead in her Franklin home on April 18, TobyMac (Toby McKeehan), who collaborated with the "American Idol" alum on several songs, including "Lose My Soul," "Good Mornin'" and "Bleed the Same," lamented the loss of a "beautiful soul."  

He remembered her as an "authentic" Christian who wasn't afraid to share her battles with a watching world.  

"I have never met an artist who is more encouraging and supportive to other artists than Mandisa," he captioned a photo of the two of them.  

"She was honest and authentic but I always left her side feeling better. She watched every act, every night on every tour singing along with a smile that made you feel alive. From 'Lose My Soul' to 'Bleed the Same' to 'Good Mornin' I was honored not only to collaborate with her but to call her friend. She was honest about her struggles and viewed her break throughs as an opportunity to let others know that they can experience victories just like her. She saw us as a family. God's family. In all our diversity. All flawed. And all in need of the love of a Good Father, a Heavenly Father."  

I know her battle is over but I will always treasure her memory and that smile and infectious laugh that I had the pleasure of experiencing so often."  

The Christian radio station K-LOVE first reported Mandisa's death in a statement on Friday.  

"Mandisa loved Jesus, and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about Him at every turn," said K-LOVE Chief Media Officer David Pierce. "Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive, but it was no match for the size of her heart."  

In 2005, Hundley appeared on "American Idol" and advanced to the top nine contestants. She released her first album, True Beauty in 2007 and debuted on the Top Christian Album charts with her first single, "Only the World."  

Hundley won Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for Overcomer at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014.  

Over the years, the artist was open about her struggles with mental illness and depression. In a 2022 interview with The Christian Post, she said she began struggling with depression and anxiety after one of her best friends died of breast cancer.  

"I isolated myself, I didn't want to talk about it, and I battled with the shame of feeling like I didn't have enough faith or that God was displeased with me," she recalled.  

The singer said she changed her perspective after reading the Bible and discovering that "a lot of these people we read about wrestled with similar things."  

She cited as examples Elijah, "who one minute is calling down fire from the heavens and defeating the prophets of Baal, and then the next moment sitting by a tree and asking God to let him die," and David, "who is very honest throughout the Psalms about the pain he felt internally, and he was someone God called a man after His own heart."  

Mandisa found comfort in Psalm 13:1-6, which asks, "How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?" At the same time, the Bible verse declares, "my heart rejoices in your salvation," and includes a vow to "sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."  

Following the news of her death, several Christian singers and "American Idol" alumni who knew the late singer shared her positive impact on their lives.  

"Mandisa's smile was like turning on sunshine," said singer-songwriter Amy Grant on Instagram.  

"Broke my heart when I heard the news!" wrote singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. "She was truly a woman of faith. A bright light that made such a powerful imprint on this world. Rest in heaven, Mandisa!"  

Fellow American Idol alumn Artist Danny Gokey said he is "devastated."  

"Not only did we connect over being American Idol alumni — we had a great time on the road doing several tours together," he wrote. "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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