‘Idol’ Family Loses Original Member

I was sitting at home the other night and discovered an Instagram post from American Idol Season One alumnus, A.J. Gil, about a medical event that had occurred with his fellow Idol standout, Nikki McKibbin. She died the next day.

I was completely shocked and saddened by the news. In fact, I just saw McKibbin join her fellow OG Idols on a live stream reunion hosted by Justin Guarini this summer. According to her husband, Craig Sadler, McKibbin suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday and was kept on life support in an effort to donate her organs.

As an OG Idol fan, I vividly remember McKibbin. I mean, how could I not? She was a part of a talented group that changed television history forever. Truth be told though, she was not my favorite back then. I was nine years old and one of my favorites was R.J. Helton. I recall one elimination week coming down to him and McKibbin, with Helton getting the boot. Let’s just say, nine year old me was pissed!

19 years later, I truly love all of the original Idol finalists and appreciate them for their contributions to our world. Let bygones be bygones! They all played a part in my life and I continue to follow many of their journeys to this day.

The aforementioned Guarini hosted several members of the gang for a special reunion on his “So What Happens Now” livestream a few months ago. McKibbin was part of that and it was so great getting to see her as well as those who joined in that evening. Some of which, including McKibbin, I had not seen in years!

It’s just incredibly sad to realize that she is gone. And at just 42 years old as well. I know it sounds cliché but…life is truly short friends. Check out one of Mckibbin’s standout performances on Idol of Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.”

R.I.P. Nikki.

Photo Courtesy: Carlos Quintero via Unsplash

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