Contemporary Gospel,R&B/Soul,Contemporary R&B

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

Mandisa first appeared on TV screens before an audience of millions just a few short years ago, with a spectacular run of performances that led Mandisa into the final rounds of "American Idol's" fifth season. It was during those first few months of 2006 that she became a household name and garnered a multitude of fans as she wowed audiences with her powerful voice and contagious smile.

Those months were the beginning of major change in Mandisa's life - in more ways than one. They were certainly the launch of a promising new musical career, but they also represented another turning point for her. When "Idol" judge Simon Cowell made negative comments about her weight on national television, it was a shock to Mandisa and to many of the millions who were cheering her on. She admits now, as she has discussed at length in her book Idol Eyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame, that those hurtful words cut deeply, causing a lot of immediate pain and embarrassment.

"My struggle with weight has been the biggest struggle of my life and it began as a very young girl," she says. "There were certain things that happened to me as a child, just different situations of abuse that I talk about pretty freely and pretty openly but as a result of that abuse I started to turn to food to feel comfort and to fill that void that was left as a child and what I have learned is that the only thing that will satisfy me and the only thing that will truly give me comfort is the Comforter and He is the only one that can fill that void. And so one day at a time I have been set free or I am being set free from what I call is a food addiction. I believe that you can be addicted to alcohol and drugs and for me I believe that I have been addicted to food for several years. And so it's been a journey, it's been a very difficult journey, but it's a journey that I'm overcoming one day at a time. As I speak, we are about 2 months away from this record releasing, and I have lost 60 pounds. But, I have to say, it is about more than eating, and more than exercising. Of course those things have to be a part of this, but it is truly what my first single says it is because my Deliverer has set me free from all that has held me captive and I just believe that this is, again, it's going to be a lifelong journey for me but as long as one day at a time I am getting closer and closer to being set free that's all that I can ask for and I believe that that's happening."

Mandisa's 2007 debut, True Beauty, created history by becoming the highest chart entry and made her the best-selling debut artist ever for Sparrow Records. It also became the only female debut to hit No. 1 in the 27-year history of Billboard's Christian Retail Chart. True Beauty received a GRAMMY® nomination for "Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, the single "Only the World" became a Top 5 hit at Christian radio, and Mandisa was lauded one of the "Best New Artists of 2007" by multiple media outlets.

Since the months and years that have followed her days on American Idol, the debut CD and book, Mandisa has realized how much that experience and everything she learned from it has given her a platform to reach out to others through her music. It became a major part of the songs Mandisa recorded for True Beauty, but she has gracefully moved into an even deeper understanding of who she is now and what she wants to communicate through the new collection of songs she recorded for Freedom.

The jubilant first single, "My Deliverer," is a perfect example of the empowering message that builds the foundation of the entire album. With its buoyant pop/funk track backing her up, Mandisa sings with a carefree confidence about feeling more alive than ever.

"If there's any one song that truly reflects what God is doing in my life, this is that song," Mandisa explains. "My struggle with weight has been, and will probably continue to be, the biggest battle of my life. There are certainly physical ways in which I'm now taking control of that addiction, but more important than that, it's a spiritual warfare issue for me as well. I have to ask for God's help every single day, so I know that it's going to take a whole lot more than any diet plan or any exercise plan to set me free. He is truly my deliverer who is setting me free from all of this, and he's the reason I'm so excited about being able to sing this song."

"These songs mean so much to me because they give me an opportunity to share with others what I've been through, and what I've learned from so far on this journey. It really is true freedom to know that the Holy Spirit is the great comforter. So no matter what people are going through - whether it's abuse, the loss of a child, or not having money to pay the bills - there is a God who loves you and is with you no matter what. I know when I go through difficult times, the best defense I have is to worship him, because when you magnify God, your issues look smaller. He can bring us out of whatever we're going through and even use it for good, and for His glory."


Album Title Year Label
True Beauty2007Sparrow Records
It's Christmas2008EMI
Freedom2009Sparrow Records
What If We Were Real2011Sparrow Records



Citrus Heights


United States

Record Label:


Christian Label:


Years Active: