Biography – Fantasia
I always say you’ve only got one life to live and you’re not promised a tomorrow.
So, you might as well just have a good time with it. Fantasia Monique Barrino is an American R&B singer, and actress. Barrino rose to fame in 2004 when she was the third season winner on American Idol. Since American Idol, Barrino has released three albums. Barrino played Celie in the Broadway hit The Color Purple. Barrino is one of the greatest artists to ever win American Idol, and she is also a strong young lady who has been through so much in her life.
Barrino was born to Diane and Joseph Barrino on June 30, 1984, in High Point, North Carolina. Barrino attended Andrews High School, but dropped out feeling embarrassed and harassed after she was raped by a classmate. Barrino describes how she felt after the incident: “And my mom come upstairs and she says, ‘Something is wrong with you.’ I wouldn’t even talk. She says, ‘Have you been touched?’ I still said nothing. I laid in that bed for two days.
I wouldn’t even go to school.'” (Barrino). At the age of sixteen Barrino became pregnant by her boyfriend Brandel Shouse, and on August 8, 2001, she gave birth to her daughter Zion Quari Barrino. While in the relationship with Brandel, she was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused. In 2004, Barrino auditioned for American Idol singing Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”. At age nineteen with sixty-five million votes Barrino won American Idol (Barrino).
“When I was on American Idol,” she says, “people fell in love with the young lady who took her shoes off to come onstage, who spoke her mind and didn’t hold anything back” (Barrino).After winning Barrino signed with J Records and released her first debut album entitled Free Yourself which went platinum (Barrino). Barrino went from singing on the stage to acting on the big screen. In 2006, Barrino played herself in a Lifetime Television film based on her autobiography Life Is No Fairy Tale which reached nineteen million viewers throughout its debut weekend (Biography). Barrino played the lead role of Celie in the Broadway play The Color Purple. While playing the role, Barrino earned rave reviews for her performance.
“New York Post critic Clive Barnes said, “… there is some elemental quality to Barrino that is either greatness or something close to it.” Upon her warm welcome to the stage Barrino was asked to perform at the 2007 Tony Awards in a tribute to Atlanta’s Alliance Theater in which The Color Purple got its start” (Barrino).
During the Broadway show airing Barrino missed fifty performances. Barrino revealed the reasons for the absence for her performance that she had a tumor in her vocal cords. After a successful surgery the tumor was completely removed, and Barrino was back to singing and recording songs, however she took a turn for the worst. Barrino was hospitalized On August 9, 2010, Pineville, North Carolina, due to overdosing on aspirin and an unknown sleep aid. Doctors, say “Her injuries were not life threatening … she was dehydrated and exhausted at the time.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department classified the incident as a suicide attempt. On a VH1 Behind the Music series, Barrino confirmed the incident was a suicide attempt, saying, “I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted out. At that moment I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with. Barrino denied rumors that the incident was a publicity stunt” (Barrino).
In January of 2011 Barrino starred in her first reality show entitled Barrino For Real. Barrino was than casted in her first film, playing gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in based on the 1993 book Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. It was later reported that the film was fully endorsed by the Mahalia Jackson estate. Barrino also would receive not only the top salary in the project but a percentage of the box office revenue the film creates. The production was said to begin in October 2011 in New Orleans and Chicago, and would be released late in 2012. In August of 2010 a divorce filed in Mecklenburg County District Court alleges that Barrino had a year-long relationship with Antwaun Cook, who was married.
Barrino claimed the two began dating after Antwaun and his wife separated. However, the Mahalia Jackson film later reported that Barrino may have lost the role after she announced her pregnancy in August 2011. Members of Mahalia Jackson’s estate are not happy that Barrino got pregnant by a married man and producers are upset that she did not disclose her pregnancy. On December 13, 2011, Barrino gave birth to her son Dallas Xavier Barrino weighing in at 7lbs 90z (Biography). Barrino has been through a lot her whole life.
She was raped at fourteen, won American idol at nineteen, starred in Broadway, and attempted suicide. However, she still comes out strong and believes no one can tear her down or break her joy.