Vale Mandisa: Thank You for the Music - Salt 106.5

Vale Mandisa: Thank You for the Music

Mandisa was born in Citrus Heights, California as Mandisa Lynn Hunley and died at her home in Franklin, Tennessee on April 18, aged 47.

By Salt 106.5 Network Tuesday 23 Apr 2024MusicReading Time: 5 minutes

Warning: The following article contains content that some readers may find distressing. If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.
The Christian music scene was devastated by the news of Mandisa’s death this week.
Key points
  • Mandisa was born in Citrus Heights in California as Mandisa Lynn Hunley and died at her home in Franklin, Tennessee on April 18, 2024, aged 47.
  • Fans of her music have taken to social media, to express their grief and gratitude for the woman who was willing to be honest about her struggles, if it meant helping others.
  • “She sang like an angel here. I can only imagine what she sounds like in heaven today,” one comment said. 

The 47-year-old was found unconscious in her home in Franklin, Tennessee.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased,” a statement said.

“At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details.

“We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time.

“Mandisa was a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world,” the statement continues.

“Her own words say it best.”

I’m already home
You’ve got to lay it down
’cause Jesus holds me now—
And I am not alone

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We pay our respects

We’ve been Mandisa fans for a long time. Songs like ‘My Deliverer’ and ‘Unfinished’ have encouraged us and pointed us to Jesus as we’ve gone about our lives.

Among firm favourites like ‘Overcomer’ and ‘Only the World’ are her collaborations with Toby Mac and Matthew West as well as a long list of inspirational hits.

This week, Hope Breakfast‘s Danniebelle and Shammah paid tribute to Mandisa who was not only a Grammy Award winner and hugely successful Christian artist but also an American Idol alum.

“For me personally, I want to remember the person that she was and the incredible music that she had,” Danniebelle said.

“We listen to her music on this show, and the impact that she had both from her singing career and also as a Christian, it’s good to pull from that.”

Mandisa was born in Citrus Heights in California as Mandisa Lynn Hunley and died at her home in Franklin, Tennessee on April 18, 2024, aged 47.

“It’s very evident, the impact that she had on people’s lives,” Shammah said.

Mandisa was born in Citrus Heights in California as Mandisa Lynn Hunley and died at her home in Franklin, Tennessee on April 18, 2024, aged 47.

“There was so much positivity that was said about her in terms of how she helped a lot of people with their journey to faith.

“She was open about her struggles with mental health.

“She was open about questions of faith.

“She was open about a lot of things.

“I think that creates a safe space when you listen to her music, and you can sort of relate to it.”

For our staff, it’s come as a shock. Mandisa’s voice has been a regular companion for many years.

“It really hit me,” Shammah said.

“I found myself almost crying for someone I didn’t know because of the impact that she’s had and the fact that she was mid-forties.

“That’s so young but she has lived a life that is obviously in line with what God has for us.”

Public outpouring of love

Fans of her music have taken to social media, to express their grief and gratitude for the woman who was willing to be honest about her struggles, if it meant helping others.

“One of the few Christian artists who was open about her doubts alongside her faith,” one comment said.

“Her sincerity and honesty when dealing with life’s uncertainties reminds me of David’s heart in the Psalms.

“We really lost a great human and artist, it will always sting a little listening to her songs now.”

Fans have flooded social media to express their grief and gratitude for the woman who was willing to be honest about her struggles.

While others imagined the scenes playing out in Heaven.

“I’m forever grateful for the impact she had on my life,” said author and speaker Lysa TerKeurst.

“She will be so incredibly missed.

“She sang like an angel here.

“I can only imagine what she sounds like in heaven today.”

“She sang like an angel here. I can only imagine what she sounds like in heaven today,” one comment said.

This fan was impacted by Mandisa’s music, during an incredibly difficult time.

“‘Overcomer’ was my mantra after being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease at age 27.

“God used that song to help me overcome the depression of that diagnosis, dialysis, and a kidney and pancreas transplant.

“The way my mom and I would drive home and sing that song as loud as we could!

“God knew I needed your gift, loving spirit and beautiful voice.

“Rest peacefully, Mandisa!

“You will be missed!”

Her impact lives on

Danniebelle’s favourite song by Mandisa is ‘Overcomer’. The lyrics will continue to bring hope to listeners for years to come.

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ’til the final round
You’re not going under (you’re not going under)
‘Cause God is holding you right now


For Shammah, Mandisa’s rendition of ‘Way Maker’ is the song she has most enjoyed.

Waymaker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
Waymaker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are


“I pray that her music continues to bless people because there is power in the music that she wrote and sang for us,” Danniebelle said.

And how could it not? With such a big heart, Mandisa gave everything she could, top bring hope to the world, pointing all of us to Jesus. Her impact is sure to live on.


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Feature image: Photo sourced on facebook/mandisaofficial