The cause of death has been revealed for Mandisa, the Grammy Award-winning singer and American Idol contestant, who passed away in April. 

According to an autopsy report obtained by TMZ, Mandisa, 47, died from “complications of class III obesity,” as she weighed 488 pounds at the time of her death. Per the Cleveland Clinic, Class III obesity, also known as severe or morbid obesity, is a medical classification indicating an exceptionally high level of excess body fat.

Class III obesity is typically defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. This level of obesity can significantly increase the risk of various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Individuals with Class III obesity often face challenges in mobility, quality of life and overall health.

Among different demographic groups in the United States, African American women exhibit the highest prevalence of obesity or being overweight. Approximately four out of five African American women are classified as overweight or obese, according to the Office of Minority Health.

The autopsy report listed her death as natural.

Mandisa’s untimely passing was listed as natural, citing the absence of any trauma on or within her body. The singer, who finished 9th place on Season 5 of American Idol, had a standard toxicology report that showed no traces of drugs in her system at the time of her demise. The autopsy report also noted that the “Stronger” singer had a history of ulcerative colitis, sleeve gastrectomy and obesity.

Friends of the contemporary Gospel artist found her dead at her Nashville home on April 18. Mandisa was found “in a state of decomposition,” TMZ noted. Emergency medical officials were called to the scene, where she was pronounced dead.

A beautiful homegoing service was conducted for the California native on April 29, where her father, John Hundley Sr., revealed that the star had been infected with COVID-19 before her passing. It’s unclear if the disease played a role in her death.

“She had been weak trying to get over that, but she was trying to press through,” Hudley Sr. said at the 4:09 minute mark. 


Mandisa stood out on Season 5 of American Idol, securing 9th place among notable contestants like Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler and winner Taylor Hicks. Following her success on the show, she released her debut album, True Beauty, in 2007.

Making history, the album soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart, marking her as the first new female artist to achieve this milestone, People noted. Mandisa further solidified her place in music with her fourth studio album, Overcomer, which earned her a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album category.

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