Nikki McKibbin, a singer who finished third place in the first season of American Idol, died on Sunday at age 42 after suffering a brain aneurysm last Wednesday.
McKibbin’s husband, Craig Sadler, confirmed his wife’s death on Facebook. Over the past week, Sadler has posted about his wife’s situation a handful of times.
On Saturday, October 31, he wrote, “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.”
Sadler continued, “There are only a few hours left for me to hold her hand and kiss her forehead… She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too.”
In a separate post, Sadler acknowledged that his wife was a huge animal lover and her latest rescue dog was surviving in the woods behind their house before they took him in. In the post, he asked if anyone would be willing to adopt the dog. “He needs you and Nikki would be relieved to know she’d succeeded in saving him.”
Sadler also posted his favorite song of Nikki’s to his page: Inconsolable.
In his most recent post from Sunday morning, Sadler wrote, “All the people reaching out have been so kind and supportive. Responding to everyone is impossible and I’m a bit overwhelmed. It eases the pain to be reminded how loved she was. I believe that Nikk can feel your love. I’m going to take a break today from social media to focus on the kid’s needs. I’ll leave you with this picture of simpler times at home. This was our every day.”
McKibbin’s son, Tristen Cole Langley, 22, told the New York Times that his mother passed in Arlington, Texas. Tristen is also a singer and auditioned for Season 13 of American Idol in 2014 and made it to Hollywood. He was cut during the live show performances.
A number of people have reached out to Tristen on his Instagram page to share their condolences.
In addition to her husband and son, McKibbin is survived by her grandmother, Hazel Bunyea; her father, Keith McKibbin; a daughter, Carlie Sadler; and a granddaughter, Letti Sadler, according to the New York Times.
McKibbin’s reality TV career extends beyond just American Idol. She appeared on an episode of Fear Factor, and on the reality show Kill Reality.
The singer went on to star in VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008, where she received treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction. Her debut album, Unleashed, was released on May 22, 2007.
In a statement, American Idol said of her 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.”
This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.