Former 'American Idol' Finalist Mandisa Releases First Single

Mandisa Lynn Hundley, one of the top ten finalists from the fifth season of "American Idol," released her first single to retail on Tuesday.

The Christian singer, who is most commonly known as "Mandisa," released the song "Only the World" under the popular Christian label Sparrow Records, home to other artists such as Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Switchfoot, the Newsboys, and the David Crowder Band, among others.

She is excited about the melody, which was put into the air waves on May 11, and about her future in the Christian music genre. She feels passionate about spreading God's message.

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"My faith certainly went through some tests of fire, but it's stronger because of 'American Idol,'" reflected the vocalist. "I came out of that experience understanding Jesus better. I had been sheltered in Christian circles for a while, and 'A.I.' helped me realize the kind of impact that Christians can make in the world around them."

Also included on the single CD is a second song called "True Beauty." Both will be featured on the full album release slated for July 31.

Mandisa has been busy since departing "Idol." While working on her project, she has done performances with Christian artists around the nation including one at this year's GMA Dove Awards. She is also planning on making appearances at several Christian music festivals throughout the summer and will be attending this season's "Idol" finale.

Mandisa is also helping with missions work through the Southern Baptist Convention, which she is amazed with.

"I heard about all these people either in short-term missions or giving their entire life going out to win people to the Lord," she reflected in the Baptist Press. "I have nothing but respect for them."

In June, the California native plans on releasing a book through Tyndale House entitled Idol Eyes: My New Perspective of Faith, Fat and Fame, co-written with Angela Elwell Hunt. In it, she will speak about her "American Idol" experience, and how it has shaped her.

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