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Famous Like Me > Singer > B > Fantasia Barrino

Profile of Fantasia Barrino on Famous Like Me

Name: Fantasia Barrino  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 30th June 1984
Place of Birth: High Point, North Carolina
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Fantasia Barrino's debut album "Free Yourself"

Fantasia Monique Barrino, or simply Fantasia (born June 30, 1984 in High Point, North Carolina), is an African-American rhythm and blues singer, who came to fame as the winner of the third season of the television series American Idol.

Early life

Barrino began singing in her church at the age of 5. She was a member of The Barrino Family, a group that travelled and performed in the Carolinas and elsewhere in the American South. The group was popular but was taken advantage of in bad business dealings.

Barrino has a young daughter, Zion, whom she had as a teenage single mother around 2001. She dropped out of high school at the time.

American Idol

Barrino made an immediate impression on American Idol with her stylized, gospel-influenced sound and her unconventional diction. Her audition version of John Fogerty/Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" made her an early favorite in the competition. Her standout performance during the course of the show was a prone, heartfelt staging of the Porgy and Bess standard "Summertime" that left her in tears from "feeling the song" and earned raves from the judges, as well as landing her on the Emmy Awards's 2004 list of greatest television moments.

Nevertheless, Barrino's rise to the final two on American Idol was plagued with controversies including accusations of racism (when she and the two other well-praised African American female singers all landed in the bottom three, guest artist Elton John labelled the outcome racist), concerns over her being a poor role model, and charges of rigged voting and busy telephone signals. In the final performance of the season that formed the basis upon which America voted, Barrino offered a performance that drew effusive praise from the judges—including Simon Cowell's remarks that she was the best performer among the over 70 Idol champions crowned internationally since the show began its global competitions. Sixty-five million votes were cast in order to determine the winner on May 26, 2004, up from 24 million in 2003 . In the end Barrino beat out Diana DeGarmo by a margin of 1.3 million votes.

Barrino participated in the U.S. tour with the other American Idol finalists and appeared in the 2004 Christmas special.

Fantasia performing

Post-Idol career

Now billed as just Fantasia, she released her first single in June 2004 on the RCA record label. The single includes "I Believe", which Fantasia performed on the finale of Idol, the Aretha Franklin hit "Chain of Fools" (released before on an American Idol compilation), and her signature version of "Summertime". The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number one, the first female artist to do so with her first record. On the sales chart, the single spent 11 consecutive weeks at number one (10 weeks in Canada), giving it the longest consecutive stay at #1 for an American Idol contestant.

She released an album, Free Yourself, in November 2004. It debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 pop album chart, selling 240,000 copies in its first week. Just two months after its release, it sold over one million copies and went platinum. To date, it has sold over 1.8 million copies in the U.S. The singles "Truth Is" and "Free Yourself" became huge R & B hits, reaching #2 and #3 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks chart, while "Baby Mama" reached the top 20. Fantasia did even better on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay, where she was the first artist of any kind to simultaneously have two of the top three songs , and where "Truth Is" set a record stay at #1 by a female with 14 weeks. However, none of these singles has repeated "I Believe"'s success on the more-pop-oriented Hot 100, where "Truth Is" reached the highest at #21.

In Winter and Spring 2005 Fantasia made many television appearances to promote her album. She played Aretha Franklin in an episode of the series American Dreams, singing "Respect", and guest voiced on The Simpsons episode "A Star is Torn". Fantasia appeared three times as a musical guest on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show.

In May and June 2005 Fantasia went on her first tour with her own live band, supporting soul singers Kem and Rahsaan Patterson. She also appeared as a headliner at several music festivals including the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and the Reggae Sumfest on Jamaica. In Fall 2005 Fantasia will be touring with Kayne West's "Touch the Sky" tour.

In the late summer of 2005, Fantasia collaborated with Lyfe Jennings on his single "Hypothetically".

In September 2005, Fantasia published her memoir (which she dictated to a freelance writer), Life is Not a Fairy Tale. In it she reveals that she is, in fact, functionally illiterate. She discussed this in an interview on ABC's 20/20 : she hadn't been able to read contracts, and she simply memorized the songs she was told to perform and sing on her records. She also revealed that she was raped when she was in ninth grade. The boy who raped her was suspended from school.

As of 2005, she is being taught to read by tutors, so she can read to her daughter and read contracts. She is also pursuing her GED.

Barrino has recieved critical lauds from a variety of respected and noted individuals including Donna Summer, Dallas Austin, India Arie, Anita Baker, Ellen Degeneres, Elton John, The Pointer Sisters, Patti Labelle and Ghostface Killah.


  • 2004 Billboard Top selling single of the year, "I Believe"
  • 2004 Billboard Top selling R&B/Hip-Hop single of the year, "I Believe"
  • 2005 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Female Artist
  • 2005 Billboard-American Urban Radio Networks Top R&B/hip-hop single (sales), "I Believe"



  • Free Yourself (2004, J Records) US: #8 (Top 200) #2 (R&B & Hip-Hop) 1.5 million copies sold in the US


Year Title Chart Positions Album
US Hot 100 US R&B/Hip-Hop US Adult R&B Airplay
2004 "I Believe" #1 (1 week) - - Free Yourself
2004 "Truth Is" #21 #2 #1 (14 weeks) Free Yourself
2005 "Baby Mama" #60 #16 - Free Yourself
2005 "Free Yourself" #41 #3 #1 Free Yourself
2005 "Ain't Gon' Beg You" - #44 - Free Yourself

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Fantasia Barrino