Saturday, May 28, 2022

‘American Idol’ Finalist Nikki McKibbin Dies After Suffering ‘An Aneurysm’

*“American Idol” finalist Nikki McKibbin has died at age 42.

The singer and mother of one came in third place in the first season of the music competition show. 

McKibbin’s husband Craig posted a tribute on Saturday on Facebook, revealing that his wife “suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday” and had been kept on life support as her organs were donated to people in need,

“Many of you already know something is wrong. The love of my life Nikki Sadler suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday. She would already be gone, but she’s an organ donor and has been kept on life support to make that possible,” he wrote on social media. “That shouldn’t be a surprise to us. Even at the end she is still giving.”

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“There are only a few hours left for me to hold her hand and kiss her forehead. 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,” he added. “She will be taken to the OR at 3:00 am Central time to give her final gift that will save the lives of strangers. You probably know she practically worshiped Stevie Nicks. Before they begin, they will play Landslide for her one last time.”

Continuing, “If you are able, you can pause at 3:00 wherever you are and listen to it with her. She will know that you’re sharing her farewell. She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too.”

The Twitter account for “American Idol” said of McKibbin’s death, “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.”

Former AI judge Paula Abdul also paid tribute to Nikki on Twitter, writing “Nikki McKibbin was a strong & spirited woman who always stayed true to who she was. She could bring the house down with her powerful voice and captivating stage presence. Our first season of Idol would not have been what it was without her. My love & prayers go out to her family.”

McKibbin previously opened up about her history with substance abuse. 

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career, but also in life in general,” she told People at a charity event in August 2019.

“I’ve battled substance abuse and I’m winning, but it’s still a struggle every day,” she said. “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.”

McKibbin added, “Just because life is hard doesn’t mean that there aren’t blessings along the way. So I continue to perform and write music. I continue to sing, and I will always do that. Am I going to become a household name? No, but I can make money doing it and it brings me happiness. And that’s what’s important. I’m doing well. I’m a survivor and I’ve come this far. That’s a good thing.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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