(Black PR Wire) Fantasia Barrino (born Fantasia Monique Barrino on June 30, 1984 in High Point, North Carolina) is an R&B singer-songwriter, actress and author. Fantasia began singing at the age of 5, citing Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle and Tina Turner as major influences.
While attending Andrews High School, Fantasia was sexually assaulted by a classmate. The embarrassment over the rape forced her to drop out. She moved to the neighboring Greensboro, and stayed there before trying out for the 2004 American Idol auditions in Atlanta. Fantasia quickly won over audiences and judges with her music talent. Her rendition of the song “Summertime” was called the best performance in the show’s [then] history by Randy Jackson. Over 65 million votes were cast during the final tally, awarding Fantasia the victory.
After Idol, she signed to J Records and released her debut single, “I Believe,” in June 2004. It went on to be the top selling single that year and was certified double platinum. Her debut album came in 2004, and went on to sell over two million copies worldwide. She continued to find success, releasing three more albums and winning the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2011.
Fantasia released her New York Times Best-Selling autobiography Life is Not a Fairy Tale (2005), which was adapted into the 2006 television film, which she starred in. She portrayed Celie Johnson in the Broadway musical The Color Purple from 2007 to 2008, which earned her a Theatre World Award, and was a special guest star in After Midnight in 2013. Fantasia recently reprised the role of Celie Johnson in the 2023 film adaptation of The Color Purple for which she has earned a nomination for a Golden Globe Award.