Nikki McKibbin, ‘American Idol’ Finalist, Dies At 42
Nikki McKibbin, a finalist on American Idol‘s first season in 2002, died this Sunday in an Arlington, Texas hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm at 42, according to her husband Craig Sadler and son Tristan Langley.
“She was so loved that I know thousands of you will be grieving with us,” Sadler wrote on Facebook.
McKibbin was known among American Idol fans for her striking bright red hair, punk style and soulful covers. She was also a big fan of Stevie Nicks, and covered her song “Edge of Seventeen” on Idol. Sadler said that before her final operation, they listened to Nicks’ song with Fleetwood Mac “Landslide” together. Nicks apparently also wrote to McKibbin during her time on Idol, according to her costar Justin Guarini‘s post in memorial of her.
Nikki was a superstar the moment she walked into auditions – she set the bar high with her talent and memorable stage presence. It was an honor to watch her grow and inspire millions of people. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and fans who are grieving this tragic loss. https://t.co/iuoyqKa1pY
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) November 1, 2020
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.
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) November 1, 2020
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.
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) November 1, 2020
“Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” the post by American Idol‘s official account reads. “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.”