| Monday, August 21, 2006
| IN STEP WITH FANTASIA
|HER LIFE READS LIKE A SCREENPLAY AND THIS WEEKEND Fantsia Barrino - the 2004 American Idol winner - plays herself in a Lifetime TV movie based on her autobiographical best-seller, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale.
When we spoke, the 22 year old Fantasia was frank about her acting, "It's hard palying yourself", she said, "It's hard going back to when you were 13 or 14. But I got my game face on and gave it my all".
Consider the tumultous route young Ms. Barrino took to stardom; A poor girl from a broken home in North Carolina, she had a child out of wedlock in her teens and was functionally illiterate (and ashamed to admit it). Somehow - against all odds, and with a sassy manner and a great big voice -- she climbed out of poverty and made it to the top.
How did a singer who had difficulty reading and writing pen a best-seller? It turns out she had a collaborator, writer Kim Green, to whom she dictated. "She was amazing," Fantasia said. "I had her crying, I had her laughing. We really went there". More significantly, Fantasia is now reading and writing herself, following a tough bout of tutoring.
"I got tired of getting on a plane and seeing my friends pull out a book and start reading", she told me. "I now have a drive to read. It's amazing. I can pull out a book now too". Then she added, "I smile when I pass a bookstore and see my book".
The Lifetime film was shot in New Orleans, and Fantasia said she's going to put the money she gets from the movie back into New Orleans relief. What did she think of the jazz joints in the French Quarter? "Oh, my God, those places have legends playing in them", she said. "They called me up onstage, and every one was dancing. It was like church."
Born June 30,1984, in High Point, N.C.
Single. One daughter; Zion, 5.
Why You Know Her
She won American Idol in season 3 (2004)
Released the hit songs,
"I Believe", "Truth Is" and "Free Yourself"
What You Don't Know
She might be sitting behind you on a ferrish wheel.
"My idea of the perfect day would be spent at an
amusement park with my family".
She also knows her way around a salon: "If I weren't
a celebrity, I'd be a hairstylist".
In her new autobiography, Fantasia never names her daughter's father,c alling him simply "B". I asked if "B" tried to re-enter her life afger she became famous. "NO", she said. "But thank God, he sees Zion whenever he wants. We were so young, and I want Zion to be able to make decisions for herself eventually."
Fantasia grew up singin in church and retians much of the that spirit. But she said, "I can do lots of different types of music".
Her idols? Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. With the film and a new album due later in the year, how is she handling fame? "I want to say I have a normal life", said Fantasia, "because I carry myself that way". And does she ever watch American Idol, the show that made her famous? "Sure", she replied. "I have my favorites. And I watch a little too much. The show is so addictive".
(Source: James Brady/PARADEMAG.)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 8:40 PM