The American Idol household has been struck with tragedies transparent its 19 seasons, many recently with Nikki McKibbin"s death, a contestant top top the show"s very very first season. McKibbin passed away on Nov. 1, 2020 at period 42 after experiencing a mind aneurysm. The news left fans devastated, yet it also inspired numerous to go earlier to she performances come relive her incredible run ~ above the show. McKibbin is just one of seven Idol contestants who have died in the past 19 years.

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Before McKibbin"s death, the many recent Idol contestant who passed away was Leah LaBelle, who appeared on Season 3 that the series. LaBelle and also her partner, NBA star Rasual Butler, passed away in a car crash in California in 2018. Rickey Smith, jone Borgella, Michael Johns, Alexis Cohen, and Paula Godspeed all left behind memorable performances throughout their runs on Idol prior to their deaths. Through American Idol Season 19, its fourth on ABC, kicking turn off on Sunday, Feb. 14, below is a look earlier at the resides of 7 singers that left their mark on Idol history. The brand-new season that Idol features returning judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and also Luke Bryan, organize Ryan Seacrest, and mentor Bobby Bones.


Season 1: Nikki McKibbin

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Leah LaBelle (right) with Rasual servant (Photo: Paul Zimmerman, Getty)

Leah LaBelle perfect 12th in American Idol Season 3. The Toronto, Ontario native had actually a short recording transaction in 2011 v L.A. Reid"s epic Records. ~ above Jan. 31, 2018, LaBelle and also her boyfriend, basketball player Rasual Butler, were killed in a auto crash in Studio City, California. She was 31 years old.

The autopsy revealed that Butler had actually drugs and also alcohol in his device at the moment of the crash. A toxicology report showed his blood alcohol level was .118, above the legitimate limit. LaBelle"s blood alcohol level to be .144.

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Season 2: Rickey Smith

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(Photo: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

Joanne Borgella impression the judges throughout American Idol Season 7, reaching the height 24. She additionally won the very first season that Mo"Nique"s Fat Chance pageant in 2005. In October 2014, Borgella died from a rare type of endometrial cancer, which infect her brain. The Brooklyn aboriginal was 32 years old.

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Season 7: Michael Johns

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(Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Michael Johns to be an Australian singer who started a job in Atlanta before he appeared on Idol Season 7 in 2008. He finished in eighth place and took part in the American Idol Live! tourism after the season. He exit the album Hold ago My Heart and an EP entitled, Love and also Sex. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Orange ar Coroner"s report stated Johns passed away from one enlarged heart and a "fatty liver." His fatality came ~ he suffered a leg injury. Johns was 35 years old.

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Season 7: Alexis Cohen

Alexis Cohen was featured in the auditions episodes of seasons 7 and 8. Nicknamed "Glitter Girl" by fans, referee Simon Cowell was unimpressed through her performances of Jefferson Airplane"s "Somebody come Love" and also Madonna"s "Like a Prayer."

In July 2009, Cohen was eliminated by a hit-and-run driver in Seaside Heights, new Jersey. She to be 25.

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Season 5: Paula Godspeed

Paula Godspeed did not make it past the auditions in Season 5. She was obsessed v then-judge Paula Abdul, also legally transforming her an initial name native Sandra come Paula. She developed portraits of Abdul, which were displayed when she performed.

Godspeed, who was born Sandra may McIntyre, died by self-destruction by medicine overdose. She passed away in she car, parked external Abdul"s house in Sherman Oaks, California.

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Her death gained worldwide attention, an especially after her household said she had a background of psychological illness. As The Telegraph reported at the time, Godspeed offered her MySpace blog come write about how challenging life became after she audition, in i beg your pardon Cowell mocked she braces.

"Paula reacted pretty lot the method anyone would certainly react," her sister, Sonja McIntyre, said Good Morning America. "Saying the she had actually a leg in she mouth? That"s rude. She didn"t walk there for looks, she go there because that vocals. She went over there to sing."

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