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Real name: Mandisa Lynn Hundley
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Mandisa Lynn Hundley (born October 2, 1976), most commonly known simply as Mandisa, is an American singer and was the ninth-place finalist in the fifth season of American Idol.

Mandisa grew up in Citrus Heights, California (Sacramento County) and graduated from El Camino Fundamental High School. She then attended American River College in Sacramento where she studied Vocal Jazz. Then she was off to Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated with a bachelor's of music degree with a concentration in vocal performance. Mandisa currently resides in the suburban Nashville community of Antioch, Tennessee. When she auditioned for American Idol in Chicago, she asked the judges to call her "just Mandisa", and she has been billed as Mandisa (with no last name) on the show since the show's Hollywood round. Mandisa was a backup singer for famed Christian author and speaker Beth Moore. She has stated her musical influences run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard.

Idol judge Simon Cowell made several comments about Mandisa's weight during her audition. When he first saw her, he quipped are we "going to have a bigger stage this year." Later, when Paula Abdul commented that Mandisa had a "Frenchie" growl to her voice, Cowell responded that a more apt comparison would be to France itself. These were among comments that drew the ire of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, and would be one of the reasons Mandisa would entitle her 2007 album "True Beauty".

On March 28, she preceded her performance of Mary Mary's “Shackles (Praise You)” with this statement: "This song goes out to everybody that wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle, or situation may be big, but God is bigger." In a later interview with MTV, Mandisa responded to speculation as to whether "lifestyle" was code for "homosexuality", saying it "broke my heart because I really do try to live my life according to the value system that you treat others the way you want to be treated. I absolutely hate nobody" and added that by "lifestyle", she was referring to how she has given in to "every food indulgence ever had". However, in an interview with The Advocate, she also stated that she would not perform at gay events due to her personal beliefs.

Mandisa released her first single, "Only the World," on May 22, 2007. The song had a successful debut on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart, which tracks commercial single sales, debuting at #2 and reached #1 the following week. It is also getting major airplay on Christian radio stations. The track is available for purchase on ITunes along with the future album track "True Beauty". Her first full-length album was released on July 31, 2007. It debuted at #1 on the Top Christian Albums charts, making it the first time a new female artist has debuted at #1 in the charts 27 year history. It also debuted at #43 on the Billboard 200, an unusually high debut on that chart for a Christian artist.

I Don't Hurt Anymore: Randy Jackson said that it was a great rendition of the song. Paula Abdul also gave high praise for the song; but it was Cowel who stated "it was sexy, like in a strip club" and that it "was fantastic".

Wanna' Praise You: Randy and Simon were not too impressed,and Paula said "There is a new religion called The Church of Mandisa".


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