American Idol Favourite Mandisa to Release Christian Album

|PIC1|Mandisa, a favourite top ten finalist from season five of American Idol, will release her first single, "Only the World", to retail outlets later this month via Sparrow Records.

The powerhouse vocalist's debut album will follow on 31 July.

Entertainment Weekly wrote "It's all about Mandisa!" early in season five as she competed alongside other standout contestants including Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin.

"If you weren't doing a little bit of couch dancing when 'Disa cut loose on the piping hot arrangement (of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman"), then you'd better check the cushions for your soul."

About her time on the show and the nationwide concert tour that followed, Mandisa says, "My faith certainly went through some tests of fire, but it's stronger because of American Idol. I came out of that experience understanding Jesus better. I had been sheltered in Christian circles for a while, and AI helped me realise the kind of impact that Christians can make in the world around them."

"Only the World" will hit radio stations on 11 May. The CD single edition in stores 22 May will include a second song, "True Beauty".

Mandisa's forthcoming album features a dynamic team of producers including Shannon Sanders and Andrew Ramsey (India.Arie), Christopher Stevens (TobyMac), Shaun Shankel (Amy Grant), Double Dutch, and Brown Bannister.

In other news, Mandisa graced the stage in numerous events at the GMA Music Week last month, drawing cheers from the crowd as she sang and gave her testimony regarding the faithfulness of God.

In a luncheon showcase sponsored by EMI CMG during the week, Mandisa spoke about weight issues and the dark period she suffered after being eliminated from American Idol. She also hosted the songwriters showcase with legendary Christian artist Mark Schultz and performed at the 38th annual Dove Awards which took place at the end of April.