American Idol Girl Dies – Nikki McKibbin performs at FOX’s “American Idol” in Los Angeles on August 27, 2002. Kevin Winter/ImageDirect/FOX via Getty Images
“American Idol” alum Nikki McKibbin, who reached the final three of the show’s first season in 2002, has died aged 42. The second season, Justin Guarini broke the news on Halloween night on his Instagram page.
American Idol Girl Dies
The Grand Prairie, Texas native finished third in the competition behind Guarini and winner Kelly Clarkson on the Fox reality show’s first season. She reached the final after impressing judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson with performances of songs by Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morissette, Bonnie Tyler, Janis Joplin and finally Alannah Myles with her rendition of “Black Velvet”.
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View this post on Instagram A post shared by Justin Guarini (@justinguarini) on Oct 31, 2020 at 3:48pm PDT
According to a tweet from Redeye Radio host Gary McNamara, McKibbon suffered an aneurysm and was on life support until last night.
“Watched my friend Nikki (McKibbin) Sadler go from a karaoke bar to an American Idol Year 1 finalist. She’s on life support after suffering an aneurysm,” he wrote on his Twitter page, @garyredeye1. “They will end life support tonight. Please pray for her husband Craig and his family. I am devastated.”
McKibbin herself caught the eye of Nick, who sent words of support to the then 23-year-old singer after seeing her sing on the show. Guarini remembered that moment fondly in his tribute.
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“@realnikkimckibbin was a feisty, funny woman who could sing a rock song with the same ease and mastery she lovingly used to cut you with her crazy southern spirit,” he wrote. “Even in her twenties, when we were on American Idol together, I could tell she’d had a tough life and not many people had been nice to her along the way.”
He continued: “But I’ll never forget the day her idol Stevie Nicks sent her flowers with a card that said ‘You’re the gypsy that I was…’ Nikki was over the moon and the joy and excitement it radiated from her was infectious. After the kind of emotional beatings she took at the hands of the masses, she deserved to feel good about herself, even for a little while. well “Gypsy…and thank you for that laugh, the relentless teasing, the strength, the vulnerability, the love and the friendship you showed me during our time together in the spotlight. #rip #americanidol.
McKibbin began her reality TV journey in 2001 by entering the WB Popstars competition. After her turn on Idol, she signed a deal through RCA and 19 Records, but locked horns over her refusal to record a country album. She finally released a rock album, “Unleashed”, in 2007.
Years after Idol, she appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008 to seek treatment for alcohol and cocaine addiction. She then appeared on the shows Sober House, Fear Factor and Bravo’s Battle of the Network Reality Stars.
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She briefly returned to Idol in 2014 when her then 15-year-old son Tristan Langley auditioned for the show in front of judges Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. Langley had given his mother a rose on the Idol stage when he was just four years old. The singer was 42 years old.
“The love of my life Nikki Sadler suffered an aneurysm last Wednesday,” Sadler wrote. “She was so loved that I know thousands of you will mourn with us.” (Read his full post here.)
Season, behind winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini. She performed Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time” for her audition, which immediately propelled her to the next round of the competition.
Released the following statement via Twitter: “Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing. She was part of our
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Family and will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. (See more tributes to McKibbin from
Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, McKibbin appeared on the first season of another singing competition,
, which aired on The WB in 2001. There she competed in hopes of joining girl group Eden’s Crush, but was ultimately not chosen as part of the group’s final line-up.
McKibbin released his debut album, Unleashed, on May 22, 2007, and toured throughout the year with Texas metal band Rivethead. In 2012, she released the EP
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. Cast members included Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler, actors Jeff Conaway and Gary Busey, and civil rights figure Rodney King. At the end of the season, she appeared in its spin-off series,
, when she accompanied her son Tristan to his audition; he made it to the Hollywood tour but was cut before the live broadcasts. Nikki McKibbin, who finished third behind Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini on the first season of “American Idol,” has died, according to a Facebook post by her husband. She was 42 years old.
Craig Sadler shared on social media on Saturday that McKibbin “suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday” and was kept on life support ahead of surgery early Sunday morning to give “his last gift” as an organ donor.
“Even in the end, she still gives,” he wrote. “She was so loved that I know thousands of you will mourn with us.”
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McKibbin was just 23 when she auditioned for the reality singing competition’s first season, performing songs like Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” and “Edge of Seventeen” by his idol Stevie Nicks. .”
“Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” read a statement from the show, provided to USA TODAY by spokesperson Emma Harvey. “She was part of our American Idol family and will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”
After “Idol”, RCA Records signed McKibbin, but wanted the rocker and Texas native to switch to country music. She walked away and later joined Dallas metal band Rivethead. In 2007, she released her first solo album, “Unleashed”.
“A lot of people still look at me and tell me it was a stupid decision,” McKibbin told USA TODAY in 2008. “I would have felt like I was selling myself. … I’d rather be broke and happy than rich. and miserable.”
She went on to appear on several reality TV shows, including “Fear Factor,” “Battle of the Network Reality Stars,” “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” and “Camp Reality,” according to her IMDb page. by Network Reality Stars, McKibbin clashed with reality TV star and now former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman — at one point, he even punched Newman off camera.
In 2014, she returned to the world of “Idol” when her son, now in his twenties, auditioned, making them the first mother-son pairing in the show’s history. Tristen Langley was sent home after the audition.
McKibbin contestant Guarini called her a “feisty, funny woman who could sing a rock song out loud” in a lengthy Instagram tribute on Saturday, recalling the young singer’s “infectious” joy when she received flowers and a card from Nicks, “She Idol.”
“Even in her twenties when we were together on American Idol, I could tell she had had a tough life and not many people had been nice to her along the way,” he wrote. “After the kind of emotional beating she took at the hands of the masses, she deserved to feel good about herself, even for a little while.”
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He added, “Thank you for the laughter, the relentless teasing, the strength, the vulnerability, the love and the friendship you showed me during our time together in the spotlight.”
A handful of other notable former “Idol” contestants have died in recent years: Michael Johns, a Season 7 fan favorite and Australian idol who finished in eighth place, died in 2014 at age 35 after suffered from a blood clot in the ankle; an autopsy showed he had an enlarged heart. Months later, his Season 7 contestant Joanne Borgella, who reached the top 24, died of a rare cancer at age 32. In 2016, Rickey Smith, eighth in season 2, was killed in a car accident in Oklahoma City at the age of 36. Left too early. While many aspiring musicians have burst onto the American Idol stage over the years, a handful have died soon after.
Nikki McKibbin, who appeared alongside Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini in Season 1, died in November 2020 at the age of 42. The Fear Factor alum, who finished third in the competition’s first season in 2002, suffered a brain aneurysm several weeks before his death. .
“She would have left by now, but she is an organ donor and has been kept on life support to make this possible,” McKibbin’s husband, Craig Sadler, wrote via Facebook at the time. “TO
Nikki Mckibbin Dead: ‘american Idol’ Contestant Dies At 42
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