‘American Idol’ Remembers Mandisa With Emotional Tribute By Alum Colton Dixon, Melinda Doolittle & Danny Gokey


American Idol paid tribute to the late Mandisa, the late Season 5 contestant who died earlier this month at the age of 47.

To honor Mandisa’s life, Idol alum Colton Dixon, Melinda Doolittle, and Danny Gokey returned to the stage and performed “Shackles” by Mary Mary.

Mandisa sang “Shackles” as a contestant on American Idol, saying back in 2006 that the song meant a lot to her “because it’s a testimony that there’s nothing too hard for God.”

At the end of the performance, the trio shared some words about Mandisa.

“I’ve known her for over twenty years,” Doolittle said. “We started off singing background in sessions together. And then she got on Idol, and I cheered for her, and I came the next season, and she cheered for me. That is my girl through and through.”

Gokey said that Mandisa “was a fan of people,” adding, “She was a cheerleader for other people’s music.” The singer recalled that when he got dropped from a record label, Mandisa “had the biggest voice for me.”

Dixon noted that “Shackles” summed up Mandisa’s life, saying, “I think she came in praising, I think she left praising. We’re going to miss her, but our loss is heaven’s gain.”

Ahead of the tribute, American Idol released a statement following the news of Mandisa’s death.

“Mandisa was an adored icon on American Idol and in the music industry,” the show said in a statement. “She had become a platinum-selling artist and had won several Grammys for her music. Her passing has left everyone on the show heartbroken, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

Seacrest announced the tribute to the late singer on the April 21st episode of Idol and sent condolences to Mandisa’s family and friends.

“We wanted to take a moment to honor a dear member of the Idol family who we sadly lost this week — Mandisa,” Seacrest said. “She was an inspiration on the show and beyond. Our hearts go out to her family and all of those, like us, who called her a friend.”

American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson took to social media to remember Mandisa, sharing on X, “Broke my heart when I heard the news! She was truly a woman of faith. A bright light that made such a powerful imprint on this world. Rest in heaven.”

Remember Mandisa’s performance of “Shackles” below.

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