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Former 'American Idol' finalist Elliott Yamin's mother Claudette dies

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/01/2008 

Claudette Yamin, the mother of former American Idol fifth-season finalist Elliott Yamin, died on Monday night. She was 65.

While her cause of death was not released, Claudette had been hospitalized at Henrico Doctors' Hospital over the weekend, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Tuesday.

"The world lost a beautiful soul," read a message posted last night on Elliott's website by his friend Brandon Crowe.  "I can't go into any details at this time except to say that she went peacefully."

Idol viewers became familiar with Claudette during her son's fifth-season journey in 2006, in which he subsequently placed third.  A native of Richmond, VA, Claudette briefly moved to Los Angeles to be with Elliott last year only to return to the Richmond area in February, the Times Dispatch reported.

"I went to see if I could rebuild my health," Claudette told the Times Dispatch in a February interview, explaining a broken hip she suffered never fully mended.  "I did well. I was there for a week and then in the hospital for a week.  At least I saw a nice new hospital."

Claudette apparently didn't let her hip slow her down, as she traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC and Fort Lauderdale, FL to see her son perform.

"When Elliott's around, it's like a whirlwind," she told the Times Dispatch.  "I couldn't be more excited if it was me."

In addition to Elliott, Claudette is survived by her younger son Scott Yamin, who is in pharmacy school at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, and her daughter Jodi Queen, who lives in San Diego, according to the Times Dispatch.

"We are asking that you please respect the family's privacy at this time. We are all aware of your prayers, and we thank you," wrote Crowe on Elliott's website.

Instead of sending flowers, Crowe asked that donations be sent to the local chapter of the Richmond Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Central Virginia chapter -- a cause that's close to the Yamin's since Elliott suffers from Type 1 diabetes.

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