Fantasia Barrino Reveals She Was Advised Not to Discuss Daughter on ‘American Idol’

“American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino recently revealed in an interview with USA Today that the show’s producers urged her not to reference her daughter during her tenure on the reality television competition. At the time, Barrino was in her teens with a three-year-old daughter, Zion.

Key Takeaways:

– During her time on “American Idol,” Fantasia Barrino was reportedly advised by producers not to talk about being a teenage mother, fearing it could diminish her chances.
– Despite struggling with the perceived image of Idol, Barrino won the competition.
– She has continued her career with success, currently starring in “The Color Purple,” a musical now in cinema.
– Barrino has always stood for authenticity, discussing her life openly, including challenges relating to being a young mom, abuse, and her path to success.

Silencing Stories From The Contestant’s Life

Barrina explained that the producers believed she was “losing votes” whenever she touched on her personal story. Their suggestion was to tone down her references to her daughter, probably to fit the image they wanted to project for the ‘Idol’ aspirants.

The singer, who rose to prominence after winning the third season of “American Idol”, confessed that she didn’t comply with this advice. Instead, she chose to remain authentic and continue sharing her story despite the feedback she received inside the studio.

Dealing With Hard Times

Originally from High Point, North Carolina, Barrino had experienced a tumultuous childhood. She battled hardships, including being sexually assaulted at 14, leading her to quit school. At 17, she became pregnant, which is when she felt that the world began to write her off.

Undeterred, Barrino auditioned for “American Idol” in Atlanta with only $50 to her name, left to be the last contender to perform at the Georgia Dome. She eventually broke the odds and emerged as the victorious contestant, overcoming the various challenges she faced.

Struggles on ‘American Idol’

Barrino opened up about the difficulties she encountered during her time on the competition. These included her contesting societal norms including birthing a child out of wedlock and dropping out of school, as well as not having financial resources for costumes.

A Bond That Couldn’t Be Hidden

Despite these challenges, Barrino maintained a close bond with Zion, standing by each other through the tough times.

The “Color Purple” star also spoke about her resilience, saying that she held onto her belief in her talents and future even during tough times. She desired validation and acceptance, not just for herself but for others who have experienced similar circumstances.

Embracing Authenticity

Even amidst a high-stakes competition, Barrino decided to remain true to her life experiences. This was widely acknowledged during her performance of Gershwin’s “Summertime” which she performed barefoot, expressing raw emotion that swept the judges off their feet and won over the voting audience.

Post-Idol Success

Today, Barrino, now 39, is a mother of three and enjoys a flourishing career, featuring in hits like “The Color Purple.” Despite some difficult paths post-Idol, she is reveling in her current success and personal growth.

The singer has always been transparent about her life journey, drawing on her personal experiences to portray her role in “The Color Purple.” According to Barrino, her authenticity has always been her strength, and she never hesitates to revisit her past events, no matter how painful, to offer a more authentic performance, for instance, in the role of Celie.

Using Music as A Therapy

Barrino also revealed how she halted her traumatic therapy sessions to use her role as Celie as therapy while filming “The Color Purple.” She believes this allowed her to deliver a powerful performance during the movie’s climactic song “I’m Here,” which celebrates resilience and redemption.

Despite the production’s advice during her “American Idol” journey, Fantasia Barrino’s authentic narrative and raw talent transcended the expected norm, leading to her widespread recognition and ongoing success in the entertainment industry.

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