‘We miss you, Mandisa’: Family, friends honor life of Grammy-winning Christian artist

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — The life and legacy of Mandisa, a Grammy-winning Christian singer and former “American Idol” contestant, were honored in Brentwood Saturday by family members, friends, and fans.

The Franklin Police Department said 47-year-old Mandisa Hundley was found dead in her Beamon Drive home on Thursday, April 18, adding that there was no indication her death was the result of suspicious or criminal activity.

News 2 attended Mandisa’s celebration of life on Saturday, April 27 and spoke exclusively with her family about the legacy the vocalist leaves behind.

“She brought such joy to our family, to our lives that we’re just going to miss her every day,” Mandisa’s father, John Hundley, told News 2.

Nashville music community mourns death of Grammy-winning Christian artist Mandisa

Brentwood Baptist Church was filled with people who were somehow impacted by Mandisa or her music, either sitting in the pews or watching the livestream.

Previous coworkers, bandmates, and friends all spoke for almost three hours about the kind of person Mandisa was.

“Whatever she did, she did it with every molecule she had,” said Beth Moore, Mandisa’s previous coworker at Living Proof Ministries.

“Mandisa facilitated and grew a culture of healing, freedom, joy, passionate love for God and His word,” said Luke Sullivant, a guitarist for Mandisa.

“We miss you, Mandisa, our diva, already,” Charlotte, a college roommate and friend, said in a voice filled with emotion. “We love you. Thank you for sharing with us as long as you did. Congratulations, my sister: you have overcome.”

WATCH: Celebration of life held for Christian singer Mandisa

The family told News 2 they could not put into words how in awe they were to see the turnout of support.

“I don’t really have words to express to really articulate what a wonderful feeling that is,” John explained. “But just to know that our little Mandisa has grown up into this woman and who she became, yes, it is wonderful.”

“As it turned out, what Mandisa had asked of the Lord over and over again in the presence of many other witnesses, He did indeed grant,” Moore said. “He took those shackles off her feet so she could dance.”

John added that Mandisa had a box filled with letters from fans: “I bet you there was over 50 cards in this one box where people have written a letter to her and say, ‘Mandisa, you impacted my life.'”

During the celebration of life, John announced to the congregation that Mandisa’s official cause of death would not be released for a couple of weeks. However, he did say he does not believe his daughter’s death was the result of self-harm.

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“She told me some time ago that she had gotten COVID-19, and she had been weak trying to get over that, but she was trying to press through,” John explained.

John said Mandisa’s body was found lying on the floor with her phone on the other side of the room, making it impossible for her to call for help.

John told News 2 that his last conversation with his daughter was on Easter Sunday: “She bought me this phone she wanted me to have so that I make sure that we can communicate on a regular basis, and so we did. She texted to say, ‘He is risen,’ and that she was happy, and she talked on and on about that.”

He said he will always remember Mandisa as the little girl who loved to sing with her mom while his wife played the piano.

“She didn’t quit; she just kept trying to sing,” John told News 2.

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