Curvy Model and Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Joanne Borgella, Dead at 32

Neilson Barnard/ Getty

The Hatian-American curvy model and reality star passed away after a battle with endometrial cancer. 

Yolanda Sangweni Oct, 19, 2014

Former American Idol contestant Joanne Borgella has lost her battle with cancer.

The 32-year-old plus-size model was diagnosed with endometrial cancer a year ago, according to her family’s Facebook post announcing her death. “Since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world,” read the post.

“Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered.”

A singer and model, Borgella made it to the top 24 on season 7 of American Idol in 2008, three years after appearing on Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance.

Curvy Model of the Month: Joanne Borgella

She signed with Wilhelmina Models after being discovered at the ESSENCE office and modeled for brands like Ashley Stewart and Macy’s. She also created Joanne Borgella New York, a clothing line for curvy women, and appeared on Curvy Girls, a reality show which airs on NUVOtv.

ESSENCE declared Borgella our “curvy model of the month” in May 2013. Asked what her favorite feature was, Borgella declared, “My personality!”
 
I love people and I love who I am—I’m true to that. And I wear my curves with pride,” she said.

Year of Curvy Models

Borgella is the second season 7 American Idol contestant to pass away in the past three months. Fellow contestant Michael John passed away on August 4.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Borgella family.