It is not often—if ever—that a former U.S. congresswoman and a Good Morning America host co-star in a Christian music video. Last week a new music video debuted from American Idol season five finalist Mandisa, and it features both Gabby Giffords and Robin Roberts. The music video for Mandisa’s hit song “Overcomer” includes never-before seen footage of Giffords’ hospital recovery after she was shot in the head in 2011, and also documents Roberts’ journey overcoming breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome.
The song has already made quite a splash. The album “Overcomer” opened last week at #1 on the Billboard Christian chart and #29 on the Billboard 200. The title track, released earlier this summer, is the top Christian Digital Song and the Christian/Gospel Digital Song for the eighth week in a row. The video also features Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, a cancer-survivor, and Biggest Loser runner-up Hannah Curlee. “I selected everybody in the video based on their very public and inspirational stories of overcoming,” Mandisa says. “Both Gabby and Robin have exhibited strength in their battle and I knew that people watching could look at them and say to themselves, ‘if they can do it, so can I.’”
The song’s message was originally inspired by Mandisa’s friend LaKisha Mitchell, her pastor’s wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year while she was pregnant. Mitchell carried the child through months of chemotherapy treatments and a double mastectomy. “Her son, Brennon, was born perfectly healthy in June, but Kisha is still fighting,” Mandisa says. “I wanted a song to encourage her to keep fighting, and to remind her that she is an overcomer.”
Mandisa, a three-time Grammy nominee, herself has a journey of being an overcomer. When she was 16, she was raped. Afterwards, she says, she tried to protect herself with food and weight. Over the last few years she has lost more than 100 pounds, and every day she continues to fight toward her health goals. “I will not be an overcomer once I achieve that elusive goal weight,” she says. “Because I battle each day, I am an overcomer right now!”
Mandisa is open that she gets her strength from Jesus Christ, and her song has a Christian message. “You’re not going under, ‘cause God is holding you right now… so just hold tight, fix your eyes on the one who holds your life,” proclaim the lyrics. “Jesus overcame death and the world,” Mandisa says. “Because He lives inside those who have given their lives to Him, His word says that we are overcomers, too.”