Her family released a statement on her Facebook page, writing, "With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered.”
It continued, “Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven.”
On Season 7 of “American Idol,” Borgella made it to the top 24 but was eventually eliminated.
In 2005, she appeared on the Oxygen show “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance” and was named "Miss F.A.T." which lead to a contract with Wilhelmina Models.
Since “Idol,” Borgella led a busy career recording singles, modeling professionally and launching her own clothing line.