ARLINGTON, Texas – Nikki McKibbin, a singer from Texas best known for her third place finish in the first season of American Idol, has died. She was 42.
McKibbin’s husband, Craig Sadler, confirmed her death in a Facebook post, saying that she had died after suffering a brain aneurysm on Wednesday and was taken off life support early Sunday. Her husband did not say where she died.
McKibbin's son, Tristen Langley, told The New York Times that his mother died in Arlington, Texas.
“She was so loved that I know thousands of you will be grieving with us,” Sadler said. “She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too.”
McKibbin appeared on American Idol in 2002, when the show started and became an instant hit.
A 23-year-old from Grand Prairie, Texas, McKibbin impressed the judges with soulful performances of songs by Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and a stirring cover of Alanna Myles’ song “Black Velvet.”
McKibbin finished third on the show that year, behind Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, who won the competition.
Gracious in defeat, McKibbin tearfully hugged her fellow contestants when she was voted out in 2002.