'American Idol' Contestant Joanne Borgella Dead at 32 From 'Rare Case' of Cancer

10/18/2014 3:58 PM PDT

Joanne Borgella Dead -- 'American Idol' Contestant Dies at Age 32 ... From 'Rare Case' of Cancer

Breaking News

Former "American Idol" contestant Joanne Borgella died Saturday at the age of 32 ... after fighting for the past year against what she described as a "rare case" of cancer.

Borgella's family broke the news on her Facebook page Saturday ... saying the singer passed away around 5:45 A.M. -- adding, "Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered."

Joanne was the first winner of "Mo'Nique's Fat Chance" using the name "Miss F.A.T." in 2005. In 2008, she was on Season 7 of "A.I." and made it into the top 12 girls category.

Last year, Joanne said her cancer was rare because it had spread to her chest -- the family's post on Facebook described it as endometrial cancer ... a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the womb.

Borgella last updated her social media pages about her battle in September ... and said she was going back to radiation for 2 more procedures.