After American Idol

Mandisa emerges from the dark, planning 1st album in 4 years

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Mandisa meets with Ben Roethlisberger and his wife Ashley following a show in Pittsburgh last month. According to the captain, she sang at their wedding.

Mandisa meets with Ben Roethlisberger and his wife Ashley following a show in Pittsburgh last month. According to the captain, she sang at their wedding.

Wow, what a great year for fans of Christian artists from American Idol.

Danny Gokey released a new album in January that’s still Top 40 on the Christian albums chart.

Colton Dixon just released a third album that debuted at number one on Billboard.

And now Mandisa is planning a new album — her first in four years.

Oh, and she also has a new single out called “Unfinished.” As of this week, it’s already number 15 on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart and 17 on the Hot Christian Songs chart.

Mandisa is without question the most successful Christian artist from Idol, despite finishing just ninth back in Season 5.

Each of her previous four albums cracked the Top 5 on Billboard’s Christian chart. And 2013’s “Overcomer” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christmas Music Album.

The only other past Idol contestants with a Grammy are Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia, which puts Mandisa in pretty special company.

Still, Mandisa says she fell into a deep depression, isolating herself from her loved ones and even God.

“Eventually, I felt so hopeless and far away from my heavenly Father that I could see no way out of the self-imposed pit that I climbed into,” she wrote on Facebook.

Music helped her fight her way back. Specifically, a song called “One Step Away” by Casting Crowns.

Now, Mandisa is sharing the story of her struggle through her new music.

The new album is called “Out of the Dark.” It will be released May 21 and pre-orders are underway on Mandisa’s website.

A collector’s bundle includes a signed copy of the deluxe CD — it includes 18 tracks — and a chance to win a 20-minute Skype chat with the singer.

Now, here’s the lyric video for “Unfinished,” which is already available for download.

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