Former American Idol contestant Nikki McKibbin has died in the US at the age of 42.
McKibbin, from Texas, was best known for her third place finish in the show’s first season in 2002.
As a 23-year-old she impressed the judges with performances of songs by Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and a stirring cover of Alanna Myles song Black Velvet.
She was beaten by Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, who won the competition.
At the time, she had embraced her rivals and said: “What an incredible journey this has been.
“Just to know that so many people support me and enjoy what I do means more than anything in the world.”
Her husband Craig Sadler said on Facebook that she had suffered a brain aneurysm on Wednesday and was taken off life support in the early hours of Sunday.
He said: “She was so loved that I know thousands of you will be grieving with us. She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too.”
He did not say where she died but her son Tristen Langley, told The New York Times that she died in Arlington, Texas.
Guarini described his former competition 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”.
On its Twitter page, American Idol said: “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.”