In 2004 Fantasia Barrino won 1st place in the American Idol (season 3) contest. She was 19 years old at the time, and already a mommy of a 2 year old daughter: Zion. The only thing I knew about Fantasia, was that she has an AMAZING and very distinct voice. Not only when she sings, but also when she speaks. Other than the fact that she won the American Idol contest, I didn’t know anything about her life. I had only seen a couple of her songs and performances on YouTube (like this phenomenal must see impromptu duet “Do what it do” with Jamie Foxx at the pre Grammy party in 2006)!
Today I happened to stumble upon a movie about her life. It was a lifetime movie (directed by Debbie Allen) that had been released in 2006, based on the memoir she published in the same year. The name of the movie: “Life is not a fairytale” suggests that her life has not been as easy as people may have thought. As I always find it very interesting to learn about people’s life stories, I took the time to watch the movie and I have linked it for you below, so you can watch it too.
After the movie, Fantasia’s career did quite well. She released a couple of albums. She starred as Celie in the Broadway musical version of “The Color Purple“. She had her own reality show: “Fantasia for real“. And she managed to finally graduate from high school in 2010. Her personal life however, was rather complicated. Her own father sued her for $10 million dollars claiming she portrayed him in an unflattering way in her book. One of her homes was in foreclosure. She was accused of having a relationship with a married man, while she claimed she only started dating him after he had been separated from his wife. She was suffering from a lot of stress and in August of 2010, she was hospitalized after overdosing on aspirin and a sleeping aid. Fantasia recovered from the attempt to end her own life and gave the following interview on Good Morning America only weeks after (video below).
Since then, Fantasia has had another baby (a boy named: Dallas) she’s getting help to cope with things and she’s picked her life back up again. When asked to talk about the last 10 years, she says she would not have done anything different, because it’s part of her testimony and it’s what made her into the woman she is now. Check out the recent interview she had on June 12th, 2013 with Kathie Lee and Hoda from the Today show via THIS link, in which she talks about what her life is like now.
I must say that I’m glad to learn that she’s doing a lot better. She’s come a long way and it must have been very hard to deal with the sudden rise to fame and being mismanaged from an early age, along with all the other trials and tribulations that came her way during the years. It always helps to understand someone better once you get to know more about them. The movie and the interviews I watched certainly had that affect on me. Before I thought she was just an awesome singer, but now I can add nice, strong woman and loving mommy to the list.