As Mandisa death investigation proceeds, police are seeing no signs of foul play

The death of contemporary Christian singer Mandisa, the “American Idol” alum whose body was found in her home last week, is still being investigated by police in Tennessee.

“At this time, there is no indication the death was the result of suspicious or criminal activity,” public information manager Max Winitz of the Franklin Police Department told The Times in an email Tuesday.

He said the department was “continuing to investigate the death” of the 47-year-old singer.

“Mandisa was a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world,” Mandisa’s Instagram account said Friday in the post announcing her death.

The singer was born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in Citrus Heights, northeast of Sacramento, on Oct. 2, 1976, and eventually moved to Tennessee. She was a five-time Grammy nominee whose 2013 album “Overcomer” — her fourth and penultimate LP — won a trophy in the contemporary Christian album category at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014.

She finished in the top nine in the fifth season of “American Idol,” which included Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler as contestants and was ultimately won by Taylor Hicks over runner-up Katharine McPhee. Mandisa was one of the many Christian singers who found a place on the show.

During that 2006 “Idol” season, Mandisa wasn’t shy about invoking her faith on camera, once making an evangelist-inspired gesture pointing to her heart, head and the sky, and also singing the gospel song “Shackles (Praise You)” during Top 10 week. After her audition, Simon Cowell made cruel remarks to Paula Abdul about Mandisa’s weight; she later cited the life of Jesus as she forgave him.

Mandisa had picked up the head-heart-sky from evangelist Beth Moore, who runs Living Proof Ministries out of Houston.

“A lot of people recognized that and were rooting for me,” the singer told The Times in 2010, referencing the gesture.

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