Fantasia Barrino became a household name in 2004 as the winner of American Idol. Today, Fantasia is garnering acclaim as a Broadway star in her role as Celie in The Color Purple. Gayle talks with Fantasia about her love of music and her climb to the top.
From a single, teenage mother to an international music sensation, Fantasia says her life has changed dramatically since winning the title of American Idol. Fantasia says her first introduction to the power of music was singing in churches as a little girl in her home state of North Carolina. She says now, as a Broadway star, the power her voice has on an audience can be almost scary. "The people, how they respond, and how I look out and how they are moved and crying—and it's older people, younger people, black people, white people, kids," she says.
Ironically, Fantasia says it wasn't until taking on the starring role in The Color Purple that she had her first voice lesson. "I work with a vocal coach every day, so he is training me and teaching me how to use [my voice] and talk and preserve the vocal, which is good because I have never worked with a vocal coach," she says.
While her career has taken off, Fantasia says her daughter, Zion, is still her main priority, and Fantasia considers herself a role model to single mothers everywhere. "I am a role model to some of the people who have been through it, and [I am proof] that they can go out and do what it is that they love to do," she says.