In 2004, 19-year-old Fantasia Barrino went from a single mother to an international music sensation. Just four weeks after being crowned the American Idol, her debut single, "I Believe," rocketed to the top of the charts. Her first album, Free Yourself, went double platinum and earned four Grammy nominations.

In 2007, Fantasia joined the Broadway cast of The Color Purple, opening to rave reviews and standing ovations. With her musical achievements, tours, a best-selling book and a movie about her life, it appeared there was nothing she couldn't do.

Soon, Fantasia's meteoric rise turned into a troubling free fall. Sales for her second album were disappointing, and Fantasia says she started feeling the pressure as sole breadwinner for her family. Her financial problems—including almost losing her home—made headlines.

Fantasia gained 30 pounds, and her reputation took a hit when she missed numerous performances of The Color Purple. "I was on Broadway for a year," she says. "Toward the end, I kind of lost control. Everything was going down the drain."


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