Propelled into the national spotlight after placing ninth on “American Idol” in 2006, Mandisa’s powerhouse vocals reinforce God's love and strength. Her latest song "Back To You," off her album Overcomer (August 27, 2013), is full of inspirational tunes including the powerful song "Overcomer."
"I recorded the album to fuel faith, empower people, and remind those facing a battle, that all of the strength, power, and weapons of warfare they need is readily available to them. We are all overcomers."
Many of her "difficult times" have come with her struggle with weight loss and self perception. This issue was illuminated in the public eye when she was on “Idol,” as Mandisa was openly criticized for her weight by the infamous judge Simon Cowell. Being the class act that she is, Mandisa gracefully put Simon in his place prior to the final semi-finalist cut when she told him: “What I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me, and it was painful. It really was. But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you, and that you don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you.” In a move uncharacteristic of the snarky Simon, he told Mandisa he was “humbled” and apologized to her immediately.
Since emerging from "American Idol," her contribution to TobyMac’s popular radio single “Lose My Soul” and her 2007 debut album True Beauty have made Mandisa a favorite of Christian music audiences. The album's hope-fueled songs sang about the source of true beauty, and featured the single “Only the World.” Mandisa’s music was not only a mainstay on Christian radio, but her True Beauty album was #1 on the Christian Albums chart, making it the first time a new female artist has debuted in that spot in 27 years.
Mandisa’s second project, Freedom, was inspired by her efforts in overcoming food addiction. The album featured "My Deliverer," which described her plight and the saving grace that God provides. She followed that with her album What If We Were Real (April 2011) displaying songs of joy, struggle, worship, and redemption including "Waiting For Tomorrow," "Good Morning," and "Stronger."
"In the end, whatever difficult thing you go through, makes you stronger," Mandisa explains."We often find that we want things to be right and perfect and comfortable in our lives, but I find that it’s often the difficult times that make you stronger than the great times."
In addition to her music, Mandisa has ventured into fashion with an inspiration-based clothing and accessories collection called, SimplyMandisa.
“I am a big fan of inspirational messages, based around faith, life, love and the desire to always follow God’s path," says Mandisa. "I wanted to develop a line that would represent my passion and share my devotion. I meet people every day that touch my life and I want to reach out and touch the lives of others, sharing what inspires me. That is what this collection is all about.”