‘American Idol’ season 1 finalist Nikki McKibbin dies at 42

Nikki McKibbin, who finished in third during the first season of American Idol, has died of a brain aneurysm.  She was 42.

McKibbin’s husband, Craig Sadler, announced the heartbreaking news Saturday on his personal Facebook.

“Many of you already know something is wrong. The love of my life Nikki Sadler suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday,” he shared.

“She would already be gone, but she’s an organ donor and has been kept on life support to make that possible,” continued Sadler. “Even at the end she is still giving.”

McKibbin’s husband went onto instruct fans on how they could honor their favorite American Idol contestant one last time, prompting them to play “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks at the same time hospital staff would be removing her from life support.

“She will know that you’re sharing her farewell. She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too,” said Sadler, noting that hospital staff would be playing the song, too.

McKibbin was taken off life support at 3 a.m. CT on Sunday.

“Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” American Idol shared Sunday on Instagram. “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.”

Fans of the singer first fell in love with McKibbin when she auditioned for the singing competition at the age of 23 and adorably forgot the song title due to nerves.

During her run on the show, she won over the audience by belting out “Piece of My Heart,” “I’m the Only One” and, perhaps her most famous performance, Alannah Myles‘ “Black Velvet.”

In addition to her husband, McKibbin leaves behind a son, Tristen Cole Langley.

By Megan Stone
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