Mandisa’s Cause of Death Revealed: Complications of Class III Obesity

On June 3 the official cause of death for Grammy-winning singer Mandisa Lynn Hundley was released, nearly seven weeks after she was found dead in her home on April 18 at the age of 47. According to Dr. Feng Li, a medical examiner, Mandisa died from complications of class III obesity, a disease characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or higher accompanied by obesity-related health conditions, The Tennessean reported.

Mandisa, known for her positive and uplifting songs such as “Overcomer” and “Stronger,” had openly discussed her battle with depression in her 2022 book, “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy.” Her father, John Hundley, addressed rumors surrounding her death during the funeral service at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, stating, “She did not harm herself.”

The K-Love Fan Awards recently aired a special tribute to Mandisa and another CCM artist, Gabe Patillo, introduced by Colton Dixon and Danny Gokey. Mandisa’s openness about her mental health struggles had led to speculation about the cause of her death, but her father emphasized, “Mandisa loved the Lord, and the Lord loved Mandisa.”

In a 2022 interview with Crosswalk Headlines, Mandisa expressed her hope that her book would encourage open discussion about mental health among Christians. “Ultimately, Psalm 40:3 is my prayer for it. ‘As many will hear what God has done, they will be amazed and put their hope in Him,'” she said.

Mandisa’s powerful vocals and lively demeanor propelled her to a Top 9 finish on American Idol in 2006, after which she found success in contemporary Christian music. Her debut album, “True Beauty,” and her last two albums, “Overcomer” and “Out of the Dark,” all reached No. 1 on the Billboard Christian album charts.

Friends and colleagues remembered Mandisa’s passion for unity, diversity, and her love for Jesus. “She loved the Word and poured her heart out in worship,” said Sydni Simons, a friend who toured with Mandisa as a dancer. Author and speaker Beth Moore, who worked with Mandisa during the Living Proof conferences, praised her ability to connect with her audience and her genuine love for Jesus.

Class III obesity, if left untreated, can shorten a person’s life by up to 14 years and increase the risk of developing serious health complications such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and certain cancers. Mandisa’s passing serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing obesity and its associated health risks, as well as the need for open discussions about mental health within faith communities.


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