Singer Nikki McKibbin, who made it to the final three in the inaugural season of “American Idol”, has passed away at age 42.
McKibbin’s fellow “Idol” finalist Justin Guarini was the first to report the news, which he shared on Instagram.
“@realnikkimckibbin was a fiery, funny lady who could sing the Hell out of a rock song with the same kind of ease and command she lovingly used to cut you with her twangy Southern wit. Even in our 20s when we were on ‘American Idol’ together, I could tell that she’d had a challenging life, and not that many people had been kind to her along the way,” Guarini wrote.
“But I’ll never forget the day that her idol, Stevie Nicks, sent her flowers with a card that said ‘You are the Gypsy that I was…’ Nikki was on cloud nine and the joy and excitement that radiated from her was infectious. 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. Rest well Gypsy…and thank you for the laughter, merciless teasing, strength, vulnerability, love and friendship you showed me during our time together in the spotlight. #rip #americanidol,” he concluded.
On Saturday night, radio host Gary McNamara tweeted that McKibbin had been placed on life support after suffering an aneurysm.
I witnessed my friend Nikki (McKibbin) Sadler go from a Karaoke bar to finalist on 1st year of American Idol. She is on life support after suffering an aneurysm. They will end life support tonight. Please pray for her husband Craig and family. I am heartbroken.❤🙏❤🙏 pic.twitter.com/o1K582r1eq
— Gary McNamara (@garyredeye1) November 1, 2020
“American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest commented on Guarini’s post, recalling McKibbin as “a superstar the moment she walked into auditions… it was an honour to watch her grow and inspire millions of people.”