“Our Loss is Heaven’s Gain”

American Idol bid farewell to one of its own on Monday night.

The long-running competition honored Mandisa — a Season 5 finalist who was found dead inside of her home in Nashville this month — by having series alums Colton Dixon, Melinda Doolittle and Danny Gokey return and reunite to perform the single “Shackles” by Mary Mary.

Mandisa belted out this same track” as a contestant on the program, 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.”

The artist later recorded this song for her debut album, True Beauty, in 2007.

Mandisa as a host
Hosts Matthew West and Mandisa speak on stage during the 7th Annual K-LOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry House on June 2, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for K-LOVE Fan Awards)

At the conclusion of this special performance, the aforementioned trio shared some words about Mandisa.

“I’ve known her for over twenty years,” Doolittle said, for example.

“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.”

Mandisa in Nashville, TN
Mandisa attends the 6th Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry on May 27, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for KLOVE)

Gokey, for his part, 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 in idea fashion, saying on air:

“I think she came in praising, I think she left praising. We’re going to miss her, but our loss is heaven’s gain.”

For the record, we do not yet know Mandisa’s cause of death.

A contemporary Christian singer who advanced to the top 10 on American Idol on Season 5 and who won a Grammy Award for her 2013 album “Overcomer,” she was 47 years old when she passed away.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased. At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details,” a social post that confirmed the sad news read a few weeks back.

“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.”

Mandisa on a stage
Mandisa speaks on stage at the 5th Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry on May 28, 2017 in Nashville. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for KLOVE)

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 reality 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.”

On April 21, Ryan Seacrest confirmed a tribute was scheduled for Mandisa, saying at the time:

“We wanted to take a moment to honor a dear member of the Idol family who we sadly lost this week — Mandisa. 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.”

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