Fantasia Monique Barrino
Fantasia Monique Barrino was born June 30 1984 to Joseph and Diane Barrino in High Point, North Carolina. Born the youngest of three and the only girl, Fantasia’s gift to sing was realized very early. Upon learning that his daughter could really sing, Joseph Barrino ushered Fantasia into The Barrino Family. The group consists of Diane, Ricco, and Teeny Barrino and family member, Cynthia Price. Joseph played bass and sang some lead and background. The family was soon signed to an independent record label and release The Barrino Family (Miracles) CD. Fantasia lead on several vocals just like a pro on such tunes as, Meet Me Half Way, What Shall I Give, Amen and Teach Me Oh Lord. The vocals presented by Fantasia from this CD could have very well made her a household name at that time. Regretfully the Barrino Family experiences their first bout of record industry deceit. The Barrino family continued to tour and minister through the Carolina’s and abroad.
Fantasia attended Andrew’s High School in High Point, North Carolina. While attending here Fantasia experience one of the worst violations that a female can experience, Rape. This incident was at the hands of a fellow classmate who Fantasia place her trust in for just a simple conversation. After informing her mother of the incident, Fantasia had no other choice but to report the incident to the school. This would ultimately result in Fantasia’s withdrawal from school. The taunting and teasing became more than she could handle.
Also during her attendance at Andrew’s High School fantasia met Brandel Shouse and began an off and on relationship with him. After leaving school, she continued her relation with Brandel and became pregnant at 16. On August 8, 2001, Fantasia gave birth to Zion Quari Barrino. The relationship between Brandel and Fantasia continue and the two decided to move in together. The two continue the relationship until the ever so mounting feuding continued to escalate and Brandel struck Fantasia. This is the moment Fantasia made the decision to move back home with her mother Diane.
In an effort to turn, her life around Fantasia grew a strong interest in the new reality show American Idol. During season 2 Fantasia watched the Velvet Teddy Bear, Ruben Studdard snatch the crown of American Idol right into his hands before the world could spell Clay Aiken. This really inspired Fantasia and eventually she made the decision to audition. The following summer auditions were in Atlanta, which was the closest audition city to North Carolina that year. Along with her brother Ricco, Fantasia headed for a 3000-mile trip to Atlanta so that she and her brother could audition for Idol. After making it through the first round of auditions Fantasia and Ricco decided to go and get something to eat not knowing this could decide her fate in the competition. When they return, they learned that everyone had auditioned and the gates w ere close. God is good. Earlier while waiting to audition Fantasia was overheard singing by a security guard who thought she had the most beautiful voice. When he noticed that she was waiting on the outside and had not been able to sing, he had it happen for her and Fantasia was the last person to audition before the judges. Fantasia sang “Proud Mary” in front of judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon and became an automatic shoe in.
Her Lips Were Big, But Her Talent Was Bigger, words Fantasia chose to use while in Hollywood. The idea was to bring focus on what she saw was her flaws so no one else could do it. In Fantasia’s stint on American Idol, she developed people that hated her and people that loved her immensely. She became whom everyone could relate and that was an ordinary down home girl with her share of problems. Despite the nay Sayers, Fantasia prove week after when that she could hold her own, belting out tunes like, Sign, Sealed, Delivered, I heard it through the grapevine, even Bonnie Raitt’s, Something to talk about which easily placed her in the top 12. On week 8 – Cinema week Fantasia decided to do a song she had never heard before. This song would be the song to make Fantasia and overall favorite. Sitting on the floor with no shoes and a pink gown covering her legs Fantasia gave a remarkable rendition of Porgy and Bess, Summertime. One week later Fantasia sings It’s A Miracle by Barry White and found herself along with Jennifer Hudson and Latoya London in the bottom three. Three of the strongest voices of the season and all were awaiting their fate. In the end, Jennifer Hudson was eliminated and not without strong encouragement from her newfound friend Fantasia. As the weeks came and went Fantasia would make it through to the finale. She would go head to head with Diana DiGarmo. By finale night, Fantasia had almost won America’s heart. Support rolled in from North Carolina, New York, Washington and LA. Fantasia was a household name and America was determined to give her a chance to prove it. Fantasia sang a number of tunes the night before. Tonight would be judgment night for both Fantasia and Diana. Because Summertime had such as strong influence in earlier weeks, Fantasia sang the tune again with as much soul as she had when she sang it before. Fantasia even sang “All my life” which is a song that was sung and made famous by her cousins KC and Jo Jo Haley. Looking flawless from head to toe, Fantasia stood nervously awaiting her fate. As Ryan Seacrest read the q cards and calmly said “Fantasia Barrino”, the room went bananas. The night was set and Fantasia was crowned American Idol Season 3 Champion.
After her win, Fantasia released her first CD, Free Yourself, with I Believe debuting number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This number-one debut made Fantasia the first artist in history to achieve this with a first single. On the sales chart, the single spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one, giving it the longest consecutive stay on top of that chart for an American Idol contestant.The CD single, “I Believe”, went on to become the top selling single of 2004 in the U.S., and has since been certified double platinum by the CRIA. Barrino also won three Billboard Music Awards for the single. From her CD Fantasia later to release Truth Is and Free Yourself with both becoming certified platinum. In addition, let us not forget the controversial tune Baby Mama. This song spoke to single mothers still making it despite the hardships.
Fantasia would go on to play the role of Aretha Franklin in American Dreams, sing for Elton John and our now President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Fantasia would go on to write an autobiography about her life. She titles this book “Life Is Not a Fairy Tale.” This book would set off a movie directed by Debbie Allen, which appeared on Lifetime television network. During its debut week, “Life Is Not a Fairy Tale” received 19 million viewers and became the second most view program of all time.
Fantasia released her second self-titled CD Fantasia on December 12, 2006. Fantasia would release Hood Boy and When I See You from this CD, with When I See You becoming her first single to top the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, remaining at the number one spot for eight consecutive weeks. Surprisingly in February of 2007 Fantasia announced that she would be playing the role of Celie in the Broadway musical The Color Purple, the hit musical based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker. This play would go on to make millions because of her role in this play. The reviews were so outstanding that she constantly brought a crowd. Fantasia continued to play this role of Celie until doctors found a tumor located on her vocal cords. Fantasia was highly criticized for her absence. Unbeknownst to her fan base if Fantasia did not have the surgery taken care of she could no longer sing again. Fortunately, Fantasia made it through this and Oprah Winfrey asked if should would tour with the cast in 2008-2009. The tour made stops in cities like Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Atlanta and North Carolina.
In 2008, Fantasia began filming an MTV reality special, which would highlight her personal life and show how she interacts with family issues. The reality special “Fantasia For Real” gave the world a glimpse at the difficulties that she experience. The cast includes her mother Diane Barrino, Aunt Bunny, brothers, Ricco, Teeny and Xavier Barrino, daughter, Zion and manager Brian Dickens. The show was a hit that would result in Fantasia filming a second season. Before the second season could begin, the tabloids went crazy when the news linked that Fantasia could be having a relationship with a married man.
You are here in her space now and that could be furthest from the truth. Unlike the media, we will not address this issue any further.
Fantasia dropped out of school at the tender age of 14. Throughout her life she had face some difficulties in her reading skills. I am glad to announce that Fantasia received her diploma at Andrews High School class of 2010. Fantasia participated in graduations ceremony services in Greensboro, North Carolina at their Coliseum. This is an amazing feat for Fantasia and we say, Congratulations Ms. Barrino.
Fantasia has had her share of difficulties. Growing up in a small town in North Carolina with a voice and a one-way ticket to Hollywood, she had proved to be a force of reckon. Fantasia has dealt with lawsuits including one issued by her father Joe Barrino because he feels the movie misrepresented him. Despite the difficulties, Fantasia has withstood the storm. With her 3rd Debut Album Back to Me, released August 24, 2010. Fantasia music constantly climbs the music charts. Critics predict Fantasia to win her 1st Grammy in 2011. God is still in the blessing business.
Fantasia will begin a 30 city major tour starting November 2010.
Wikipedia. 23 September 2010. 26 September 2010 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_Barrino
courtesy - Derek Blanks
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