Mandisa Hundley (born October 2, 1976), known simply as Mandisa, is an American gospel and contemporary Christian recording artist. Her career began in the fifth season of American Idol, in which she finished ninth. Mandisa Lynn Hundley was born and raised in Citrus Heights, California. After graduating from El Camino Fundamental High School, she attended American River College in Sacramento where she studied Vocal Jazz. Then she studied at Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated with a bachelor's of music degree with a concentration in vocal performance. Mandisa auditioned for the United States talent competition show American Idol in Chicago. She referred to herself as 'just Mandisa,' thus was billed simply as Mandisa on the show. She stated that her musical influences run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard. Idol judge Simon Cowell made several comments about Mandisa's weight after her successful audition.
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