American Idol Wiki

Fantasia Monique Barrino (born June 30, 1984), commonly known as Fantasia, is a Grammy Award-winning R&B singer and Broadway actress who rose to fame as the winner of the third season of the television series American Idol in 2004. She has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards & has won one. After playing the part of Celie in the Broadway musical The Color Purple, she was cast to be in the film adaptation of the musical.

Personal Life[]

Fantasia Barrino was born and raised in High Point, North Carolina, to Joseph and Diane Barrino. In her autobiography, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, Fantasia, who is African American explains that a family rumor suggests her father was of Cuban descent, but there are no sources to verify that claim. Fantasia is the first cousin of K-Ci & JoJo of the group Jodeci. She is also related to singer David Hollister.

The Barrino family traveled and performed in the Carolinas and elsewhere in the American South and recorded the CD Miracles for a local label. Fantasia's singing style was shaped by the example of gospel singers like Shirley Caesar and The Clark Sisters. Rhythm & Blues singers such as Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, and Chaka Khan also left a strong impact on young Fantasia.

She attended Andrews High School in High Point. After she was raped by a classmate, she was left feeling harassed and embarrassed and dropped out of high school. She later became pregnant at age sixteen and on August 8, 2001, she gave birth to her daughter, Zion Quari Barrino. She broke up with Zion's father, Brandel J. Shouse, because he was physically abusive towards her. However, in October 2014, Shouse filed a lawsuit seeking custody of Zion.

On December 9, 2008, The Charlotte Observer reported that Barrino's 6,200 square foot home in Charlotte's Glynmoor Lakes at Piper Glen community is in foreclosure and will soon be up for auction. Her 4,500-square-foot home, also in Piper Glen, is unaffected. On January 08, 2009, an agreement was reached to not auction Barrino's home.

Allegations of Affair and Suicide Attempt[]

In 2010, Barrino was called the "other woman" in divorce papers filed by a North Carolina woman named Paula Cook, who claims that Barrino had an affair with Cook's then-husband Antwuan. Barrino claimed that she and Antwuan Cook began dating after he and his wife had separated. Cook has since reunited with his wife.

On August 19, 2010, Barrino was rushed to a Pineville, North Carolina, hospital after overdosing on aspirin and a sleeping aide. Barrino openly talked about her suicide attempt in VH1's Behind the Music and claimed that it was not a publicity stunt.

Second Pregnancy[]

On August 1, 2011, at a charity concert in Jacksonville, Florida, Barrino announced that she was expecting a second child but did not name the father, who was later revealed to be former boyfriend Antwuan Cook. She later announced on October 13, 2011, that she was expecting a boy. Barrino gave birth to a son, Dallas Xavier, on December 13, 2011.


Barrino married businessman Kendall Taylor in a private ceremony on a yacht on July 18, 2015.

American Idol[]

Fantasia made an immediate impression in American Idol with her stylized gospel-influenced sound, and her explosive stage presence. Her audition version of Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" made her an early favorite in the competition. Her standout performance during the course of the show was a heartfelt staging of the Porgy and Bess standard "Summertime" that left her in tears from "feeling the song" and earned praise from the judges--Randy Jackson has called it the best performance in the show's history--and was named to the Emmy Awards's 2004 list of greatest television moments.

Nevertheless, Fantasia's rise to the final two in American Idol was plagued with controversies, including accusations of racism when she and two other well-praised African American female singers in the competition, La Toya London and Jennifer Hudson, all landed in the bottom three of that week's voting. Guest artist Elton John labeled the outcome "racist". Other concerns were raised over her as a single mother being a poor role model for youth.

For the final performance of the season, Fantasia offered a second performance of "Summertime" that again drew enormous praise from the judges; Simon Cowell remarked that she was the best contestant to ever compete in any competition, including the more than seventy Idol champions crowned nationally and internationally since the show began its first global incarnations. On the finale, over sixty-five million votes were cast in order to determine the winner on May 26, 2004, up from twenty-four million in 2003. It was the highest finale vote in the show's history until the May 23, 2007 American Idol (Season 6) finale. In the end, Fantasia defeated runner-up Diana DeGarmo by 1.3 million votes. At age nineteen, Fantasia was the youngest American Idol winner until May 23, 2007, when the seventeen-year-old Jordin Sparks won the title.

Post-Idol Career[]

2004-2005: Free Yourself[]

In June 2004, Fantasia released her debut single, "I Believe", which later debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.

Fantasia released her debut studio album, Free Yourself, in November 2004. It debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, selling 240,000 copies in its first week. To date, it has sold over two million copies worldwide, and was certified platinum in the U.S. The singles "Truth Is" and "Free Yourself" became R&B hits, reaching number two and number three respectively on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while the controversial "Baby Mama"—which critics accused of romanticizing single motherhood—reached the top twenty. Barrino did even better on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay, where she was the first artist of any kind to simultaneously have two of the top three songs, and "Truth Is" spent fourteen weeks at the number one position. Barrino was named the number-one artist of the Adult Urban Contemporary format for 2005 according to the December 13, 2005 issue of Billboard magazine.

Through spring and winter of 2005, Fantasia made many television appearances to promote her album. She played Aretha Franklin in an episode of the series American Dreams, singing "Respect", guest voiced in The Simpsons episode "A Star Is Torn", and guest starred as herself in a cameo role on the sitcom All of Us. She appeared three times as a musical guest in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On March 25, 2005, Fantasia performed at the thirty-sixth NAACP Image Awards in honor of Illinois Senator Barack Obama after winning the award for Outstanding Female Artist. In May 2005, Fantasia went on her first tour with her own live band, with soul singers Kem and Rashaan Patterson. She also appeared as a headliner at several music festivals including the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and the Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica. In October 2005, she received good notices as an opening act for Kanye West's Touch the Sky Tour.

September 2005, Fantasia published her memoirs (which she dictated to a freelance writer), Life Is Not a Fairy Tale. The book quickly became a New York Times Bestseller, reaching number seven on the list. In it, she revealed that she was functionally illiterate. She discussed this in an interview on ABC's 20/20, saying she only had enough skills to get by, but was unable to recognize unfamiliar words.

Fantasia participated in the U.S. tour with the other American Idol finalists and appeared in the 2004 Christmas special, Kelly, Ruben and Fantasia: Home for the Holidays.

2006-2007: Fantasia and The Color Purple on Broadway[]

In 2006, Fantasia was nominated for four Grammy Awards for her debut album. Though she didn't win any of them, she performed at the 48th annual telecast with several artists including Aerosmith, Joss Stone, John Legend, Maroon 5, and Ciara in an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone during the Grammy Award show.

In August 2006, Fantasia played herself in a Lifetime Television film based on her autobiography Life Is Not a Fairy Tale. The film was directed by Debbie Allen and debuted on the women’s cable network on Saturday, August 19, 2006. The movie received nineteen million viewers throughout its debut weekend. Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story has also become Lifetime's second most viewed program of all time.

Fantasia had many musical collaborations during the fall of 2006 including a remake of The Clark Sisters' "Endow Me" which featured Faith Evans, Lil' Mo, and Coko of SWV, a remake of Stevie Wonder's 1976 song "I Wish" with Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams for the soundtrack to the 2006 computer-animated film Happy Feet, and most notably her duet with Aretha Franklin which was recorded at that time and later released in 2007. She released her self-titled sophomore effort, Fantasia, on December 12, 2006. The album involved production by Missy Elliott, Swizz Beatz, Babyface, Diane Warren, and others, and has since spawned the singles "Hood Boy", "When I See U", and "Only One U" and went on to be certified gold. "When I See You" became her first single to top the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, remaining at the number one spot for eight consecutive weeks.

February 2007, Fantasia appeared and performed on American Idol, and announced that she would be starring in the lead 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. After appearing in American Idol and the Oprah Winfrey Show, the musical received a boost of over two million in pre-ticket sales in one week. Leading up to her first performance on April 10, 2007 the play garnered a total of 6.5 million in pre-ticket sales.

While in the role, Fantasia earned rave reviews for her performance. Long-time Broadway critic Clive Barnes of the New York Post went on to say "...there is some elemental quality to Fantasia that is either greatness or something close to it." Upon her warm welcoming onto the stage Fantasia 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. In recognition of an outstanding stage debut performance, Fantasia was given the Theatre World Award and the Best Replacement Star Award. Fantasia was initially scheduled for a limited six month engagement ending in October 2007 but had her run extended until January 6, 2008. The Color Purple box office saw a thirty-four-million-dollar jump in sales since Fantasia started in the show, a third of the play's 100 million dollar earning since its debut in 2005. The New York Post reported that Barrino missed nearly fifty performances in the show, causing the producers to give back tens of thousands of dollars in refunds. In the September 2008 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine, Fantasia revealed that the reason for her absences in The Color Purple was because of the development of a cyst on her vocal chords. She was ordered to immediately undergo surgery which later revealed that she in fact had a tumor on her vocal chords. She now reports that after a successful surgery, the tumor was completely removed and she is now well.

2008-Present: New Album, New Film, Grammy Win[]

Fantasia received three Grammy nominations for her sophomore release, Fantasia, and is currently in the studio working on her third album to be released late 2009. She stated on the red carpet of the 2008 Grammy Awards that the style of her new album will be a blending of the avenues she has touched musically, which include American Idol and Broadway. She also revealed that she will be writing songs and will collaborate again with Missy Elliott, The Underdogs, and Midi Mafia, who produced one of her biggest hits, "When I See U".

It was confirmed that Midi Mafia will be producing the majority of Fantasia's next album. Also, hip hop duo Rock City has been confirmed to be writing on the new project. So far, they have recorded four tracks together. She has also worked with KP, Eric Hudson and Raphael Saadiq. "Him Vs. Them" was the rumored first single from her third untitled album, and was to be released the first week of March. It was co-written by herself and Tank, and produced by Midi Mafia (When I See U). But due to Fantasia receiving new material, and going back into the studio, her new single will be released in June.

Fantasia was cast by Oprah Winfrey as Celie in the film adaptation of The Color Purple musical, which is to begin production after the release of her third album.

On June 26, 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Fantasia was dropped from 19 Entertainment because of creative differences; she will remain with 19 Recordings and J Records. She also revealed that after the release of her third album, she plans to release a gospel album.

Fantasia performed at the Tribute to Patti Labelle in Los Angeles, which was televised on January 24, 2009. She performed with her mother, Diane Barrino, in a Thanksgiving special on BET's Bobby Jones Gospel.

Fantasia appeared on Jennifer Hudson's self-titled album, on the song "I'm His Only Woman", which was nominated for a 2009 Grammy. Barrino later won a Grammy on February 13, 2011 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song "Bittersweet".

It has been confirmed that Fantasia will reprise the role of Celie in the national tour of The Color Purple during its Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles stops. Fantasia hopes to have a single released before she starts. Fantasia has also confirmed that she will be the star of her own reality show produced by World of Wonder. The show is set to premiere on VH1 in early 2010, and will chronicle Fantasia's life as a recording artist and young single mother. The show, called Fanatsia for Real, debuted on VH1 on January 11, 2010 & was renewed for a second season, which debuted on September 19, 2010.

Label Change[]

Due to the shutdown of three record labels-Jive, Arista & J-by RCA Record Group on October 7, 2011, Barrino will now release future material on RCA Records along with Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 8 winner Kris Allen, and others. Her first album with RCA, Side Effects of You, will be released on April 23, 2013. Barrino returned to American Idol on April 18, 2013 to perform the album's first single, "Lose to Win".

She is currently working on her fifth album.

Return to Broadway[]

Barrino returned to Broadway with a starring role in the musical After Midnight on November 3, 2013. Her performance earned her rave reviews. Her time on the show ended on February 9, 2014. She returned to the show for a second stint on May 13, 2014, which ended on June 8.

Barrino, along with Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, co-hosted a fundraiser for fellow Idol alum and North Carolinian Clay Aiken, who ran for Congress in 2014.



  • 2004: Free Yourself
  • 2006: Fantasia
  • 2010: Back to Me
  • 2013: Side Effects of You


  • 2004: "I Believe"
  • 2004: "Truth Is"
  • 2005: "Free Yourself"
  • 2005: "Baby Mama"
  • 2005: "Ain't Gon' Beg You"
  • 2006: "Hood Boy"
  • 2007: "When I See U"
  • 2007: "Only One U"
  • 2010: "Bittersweet"
  • 2010: "I'm Doin' Me"
  • 2010: "Collard Greens & Cornbread"
  • 2013: "Lose to Win"

Season 3
 ·Fantasia Barrino ·Diana DeGarmo ·Jasmine Trias ·LaToya London ·George Huff ·John Stevens ·Jennifer Hudson ·Jon Peter Lewis ·Camile Velasco ·Amy Adams ·Matthew Rogers ·Leah LaBelle
 ·Elizabeth LeTendre ·Matthew Metzger ·Suzy Vulaca ·Katie Webber
 ·Lisa Leuschner ·Marque Lynche ·Tiara Purifoy ·Eric Yoder ·Marisa Joy ·Charly Lowry ·Kara Master ·Jonah Moananu ·Heather Piccinini ·John Preator ·Briana Ramirez-Rial ·Jesus Roman ·Noel Roman ·Ashley Thomas ·Erskine Walcott ·Lisa Wilson ·Donnie Williams