American Idol star Mandisa’s cause of death disclosed

Grammy-winning singer Mandisa’s cause of death has been revealed.

The 47-year-old American Idol star was found dead at her Franklin, Tennessee home in April this year, prompting police to open an investigation into her cause of death.

An autopsy report obtained by People has revealed that the star died of complications from class III obesity. The report also said the star was found dead in her home by friends on 18 April, having been “last known alive approximately three weeks earlier”.

Class III obesity, formerly known as morbid obesity, describes a complex and chronic disease in which a person has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. While the scale is not always accurate, the Cleveland Clinic reports that other tests can also be used to make the diagnosis.

A representative for the singer confirmed her death in a social media statement at the time.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” they wrote. “At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details. We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley, the star, who was originally from Citrus Heights, California, appeared on season five of American Idol in 2006 alongside winner Taylor Hicks. After finishing the show in the top 10, she released a debut album, True Beauty, in 2007 and embarked on a successful career in Christian music.

She released several more albums, including Freedom, It’s Christmas, What if We Were Real, Out Of the Dark and Overcomer, followed by Overcomer: The Greatest Hits.

 (Getty Images for K-LOVE Fan Awar)
(Getty Images for K-LOVE Fan Awar)

Mandisa took home Grammy Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2014 for Contemporary Christian Music Album, Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album and Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.

In 2014, the singer lost her best friend and backup singer Kisha Mitchell to breast cancer, and shared her experience of depression at the time.

In a later interview she said: “It was so dark, it was so overwhelming, I could not see my way out. But here’s the thing about darkness – while it’s overwhelming, it only takes a flash of light, a little flicker to chase out the darkness.”

Tributes poured in for the star when her death became public.

Fellow American Idol star Danny Gokey wrote on X/Twitter: “Devastated to hear about the sudden loss of Mandisa. Her joy was infectious & I loved her heart to encourage people on & off stage!”