'American Idol' season one finalist Nikki McKibbin died on Sunday, her husband Craig Sadler announced in a Facebook post. She was 42.
During the inaugural season of 'American Idol,' then 23-year-old McKibbin became popular for covers like Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet" and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." She became the second runner-up of the show behind Justin Guarini and winner Kelly Clarkson.
Cause of Death
In his Facebook post, Sadler confirmed that McKibbin suffered a brain aneurysm on Wednesday and was placed on life support since she was an organ donor. She was taken off life support on Sunday at 3 AM local time.
"The current Covid situation won't allow the huge service that she deserves, but I would like to offer you the opportunity to honor her," Sadler wrote in the Facebook post.
'American Idol' issued a statement on Twitter following McKibbin's death calling her an "incredible talent."
"Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing. 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," the statement read.
Battled Substance Abuse
McKibbin appeared on several reality television shows following 'American Idol.' She also participated in 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew' and underwent treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction. Last August, McKibbin told People magazine that she was at a "better place" following her substance abuse battle.
"I've battled substance abuse and I'm winning, but it's still a struggle every day. For a long time, I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't being the person I should be. I'm in a better place now," she said.
McKibbin explained to the magazine that she became addicted to the painkillers after a few back surgeries. "I'm not anymore, but I was," she said. "Chronic pain can do a number on you," she said at the time.
In 2007, McKibbin released her debut album 'Unleashed' and the following year she released a Christmas album. She released the EP 'Psychotrip' with Love Stricken Demise in 2012.