Fantasia Barrino Biography
Also Credited As: Fantasia
In late 2006, as her multitudes of adoring and loyal fans across North America and around the world contemplated the arrival of her eagerly anticipated second album, simply and aptly titled FANTASIA, the time was right to consider the facts: Her name indeed, had truly become a household word.
Say the name ï¿½Fantasia' and virtually all previous connotations have now fallen by the wayside. It is dizzying to imagine the extent of her accomplishments over the past two and a half yearsï¿½ever since her glorious win in May 2004 on the third season of FOX'S American Idol, her immediate signing to J Records by BMG U.S. Chairman & CEO Clive Davis, the release of "I believe" four weeks later in (the first time in Billboard Hot 100 chart history that an artist debuted at #1 with her debut single, which stayed on top for 11 weeks), and the arrival of her RIAA platinum debut album in November, Free Yourself.
Since then, 22-year old Fantasia has gathered award nominations from every corner of the entertainment industryï¿½the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, Vibe Awards, Soul Train Awards and Soul Train "Lady of Soul" Awards, Billboard Music Awards and R&B & Hip Hop Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Teen Choice Awardsï¿½more than 20 nominations in all. Among the honors she has taken home are Outstanding Female Artist at the NAACP Image Awards; and Top-Selling R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year and Top-Selling Single of the Year for "I Believe" at the year-end Billboard Music Awards.
The down-to-earth star (and single mom) from High Point, North Carolinaï¿½who used a portion of her earnings to buy her mom a new homeï¿½officially entered the record books on July 10, 2004. That was when "I Believe" made its Billboard debut at #1, after setting a one-week 2004 Soundscan sales record in the process. The Free Yourself album ultimately spent 10 weeks in the Top 10 on the R&B Albums chart. The second single, "Turth Is" spent an astounding 13 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Urban Adult chart in the spring of 2005, and had the most one-week airplay totals ever on an adult record in Billboard and Monitor history.
In June 2005, a full year after her debut single, Fantasia-fever was hotter than ever as she became the first female artist to have three of the top five songs on the Adult R&B chart (which began in 1994). Later that month, she became the first artist in history to chart two of the top three songs on the Adult R&B list, with "Truth is" at #2 and "Free Yourself" at #3.
Fantasia's success culminated in a New York Times best-selling autobiography, Life is Not a Fairy Tale (Simon & Schuster, September 2005), a candidly revealing memoir that was adapted as a Lifetime original movie in August 2006. Directed by Debbie Allen, and starring Fantasia as herself, the inspirational biopic was seen by more than 19 million viewers, and ranked as the cable channel's second most watched movie in its 22-year history.
In many ways, the movie liberated the artist, a state of affairs that is celebrated on FANTASIA. "I've let go of things from the past and I'm having a good time," she reflects. "I was able to let go of the past with the Lifetime movie and now I'm on a whole different level. I worked with some really great people on this album like Missy Elliott, Dre & Vidal, Midi Mafia, and Swiss Beatz and I'm letting everyone know that I've moved on from where I was when I recorded my first album."
Fantasia credits being on the road with keeping her connected to her audience: "Sometimes, I pinch myself when I look out there and see all kinds of people, mothers, families, men, women, every race. It feels so good when they say, ï¿½Fantasia, you're my girl. I voted for you!' It can be overwhelming, but I'm so grateful to God for allowing me the opportunity to touch people with my music. It comes from a lot of prayer and having a supportive mom, supportive friends and family around me. I'm just so thankful."
High points have been too numerous to countï¿½ranging from the tender (though funny) send-up on The Simpsons, to her three appearances on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She was the first former American Idol winner to reap four Grammy nominations in the same year, as she did in 2006, when she joined the all-star tribute to Sly Stone on the worldwide telecast. Of her many guest akbum appearances, the most fun was the fall 2006 movie soundtrack to the animated Happy Feet, on which Fantasia joined veterans Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams for a new trio version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish."
Fantasia also cites her performance at the United Negro College Fund 2005 tribute to Stevie Wonder as a landmark, and singing for Elton John at The Kennedy Center. But topping them all was singing for Aretha Franklin at the 28th annual UNCF tribute in her honor in September 2006. "I mean singing ï¿½Rock Steady' and ï¿½Baby I Love You' right there in front of herï¿½Meeting her afterwards, I was so nervous, all I could do was cry! I couldn't say a word to her, I just cried!"
Fantasia Barrino Awards and Nominations
|Theatre World Awards - 2007 - Performance|
|Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple|