Fantasia Biography

Fantasia Monique Barrino, 30 June 1984, High Point, North Carolina, USA. Vocalist Fantasia owes her moment in the spotlight to her triumph in the third season of the highly rated Fox TV show American Idol. A real rags-to-riches story, Barrino auditioned for the show while she was unemployed and living with her 12-month-old daughter in a one-bedroom apartment in High Point, North Carolina. Barrino’s powerful gospel-tinged vocal performances and larger-than-life personality helped endear her to the viewing public, and she emerged from over 70, 000 contestants to claim the American Idol title, beating runner-up Diana DeGarmo by over a million votes at the show’s climax in May 2004.

Now known simply as Fantasia, the singer followed former American Idol champion Ruben Studdard by signing a recording contract with veteran music mogul Clive Davis’ J Records label. The singer’s debut, ‘I Believe’, was a cover version of a track written by Tamyra Gray, a contestant from season one of the series. The song debuted at the top of the US Hot 100 in July 2004. Fantasia’s debut album, Free Yourself, reached the US Top 10 later in the year, and quickly achieved platinum status. The singles ‘Truth Is’, ‘Free Yourself’ and ‘Baby Mama’ also enjoyed extensive airplay.

Barrino made several prominent television appearances during 2005 and undertook her first solo tour, supporting Kem and Rahsaan Patterson. She also published her ghost-written autobiography and starred in a television movie based on her life. Her second album, titled simply Fantasia, was recorded with leading urban producers Missy Elliott, Swizz Beatz and Dre & Vidal, and released at the end of 2006.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.