Josiah Leming Speaks About His Late Mother

'My family needs time to be together and mourn in private,' former 'American Idol' contestant's statement reads.

On Tuesday, Sharon Leming, mother of former "American Idol" contestant Josiah Leming, died in a Knoxville, Tennessee, hospital following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Late Wednesday night, MTV News received a statement from the singer about his mom, who was diagnosed with ovarian leiomyosarcoma in 2000 and documented her up-and-down struggle with the disease through her Web site, My Life With Cancer.

"To all my friends: I just wanted to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and kindness. Mom fought this for a long time, [and] passed away on Tuesday, June 16th surrounded by her family and loved ones," Josiah's statement read. "She had aggressive leiomyosarcoma and she fought it for 10 years. ... I know many of you got to know my mom through her postings, and we all thank you for sharing in her life and story. Now my family needs time to be together, and mourn in private."

Leming also added that condolences can be posted at Sharon's Web site. In the day since the news of her death broke, both Sharon's site and Josiah's MySpace page have been flooded with messages of strength, sorrow and hope from fans.

According to Leming's hometown paper, The Citizen Tribune, a funeral service for Sharon will be held on Friday at her church, Open Door Baptist, and her family "will receive friends from 6-8 p.m., prior to the service at the church." Leming will be laid to rest the following day in North Carolina.