'Idol' Finalist Nikki McKibbin Dies At 42


Nikki McKibbin, who finished the inaugural season of American Idol two spots behind winner Kelly Clarkson, has died at 42.

The singer was taken off life support on Sunday morning, four days after suffering a brain aneurysm.

“Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” read a tweet from American Idol. “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."

Justin Guarini, runner-up on Idol’s first season, remembered McKibbin as “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.”

He added: “Thank you for the laughter, merciless teasing, strength, vulnerability, love and friendship you showed me during our time together in the spotlight.”

McKibbin performed songs by Canada’s Alanis Morissette and Alannah Myles in her final weeks on Idol. Her post-show career included the 2007 album Unleashed and appearances on a number of reality shows.

Her son Tristen Langley auditioned for Idol in Season 13.

McKibbin is also survived by husband Craig Sadler.