Mandisa Lynn Hundley, known mononymously as Mandisa, is a gospel singer and contemporary Christian music recording artist. Her career began in the fifth season of "American Idol," in which she finished in ninth place.
She is the fifth "American Idol" alum to win a Grammy Award for Best Christian Contemporary Music Album, which she won for her album Overcomer. Mandisa's fifth full-length album, Out of the Dark, was released on May 19, 2017.
The lead single, "Unfinished," was then released on March 10, 2017. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs Chart. Out of the Dark followed a difficult time in Mandisa's life -- she had a close friend die from breast cancer after opting to carry her unborn child rather than receive aggressive chemotherapy.
This tragedy led Mandisa into a dark place where she felt betrayed by God and retreated from both public and private view until the release of Out of the Dark. While appearing on "American Idol," Mandisa stated that her musical influences run the gamut, ranging from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard.
During her time on "American Idol," judge Simon Cowell said several hurtful things about her weight, including: "Do we have a bigger stage this year?" However, Mandisa ultimately forgave Cowell, saying that while his comments really hurt her, she thought that if Jesus could forgive her wrongs and give her grace, she could extend that grace to him.
After high school, Mandisa attended American River College in Sacramento where she studied Vocal Jazz. Then she studied at Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in vocal performance.
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