In an age where booty-popping, pants sagging off the ass, and half-naked women in videos reign supreme, it is always refreshing to see music artists who rely more on their natural singing abilities as opposed to thin-vocals enhanced by studio gadgets. On last Friday’s “Mizz Richburg” show, Ric Evans, a seasoned show business veteran said that if he had the opportunity to work with any of the new artist out on the music scene his choices would be two talented “sistas” who graced the stages of American Idol. One would be the Academy Award Winning Jennifer Hudson, and the next would be the energetically charged, Fantasia Barrino.
Fame, it seems, brings an enormous amount of wealth and notoriety, but with all of that glamor and spotlight living, pressures associated with life in the public eye can be a frightening and stressful experience. Every aspect of your existence is fair game to the blood-thirsty press, whose aim is getting the dirt before it even has a chance to settle onto the ground. Most of what they print is enhanced by sensationalism and rumors, and if you are a target on their radar, your victories, tragedies, and romantic situations are the paint for their public canvass.
Fantasia’s story seemed to be a fairy tale unfolding right before our eyes, as we saw her rise from obscurity to fame in a talent competition on Fox’s American Idol. Her riveting performances week after week touched our emotions and all of us held our breath as should stood side by side with her opponent on that season finale, dressed in all black looking eloquently polished and confident as any seasoned veteran in the entertainment business.
When her name was called, as winner, on that night, the confetti rained down and showered the celebrated winner of the competition, and you just knew that, America, had finally gotten it right. Her emotional response was sincere and embraced by her adoring public, however, that moment in time would be marred by personal challenges that would affect even the strongest individual.
The highs of an entertainer are magical, but the lows can be debilitating. Her financial struggles, her family stresses, and her romantic hardships were splattered across newspapers and television screens across the world, told with little regard for her feelings. I remember switching to a channel and seeing Nancy Grace, asking the question, why Fantasia needed to steal another woman’s husband, and my heart went out to her. It always amazes me how certain high profiled news media individuals can take a story and run with it, assuming that they know what has truly transpired, but as an entertainer, it seems you are fair game for whatever story it is that they decide to exploit about you.
Currently, there is a weekly reality show about “Fantasia” that I have been watching without fail. I believe that it is being tastefully done, and it allows us a real inside view as told by her and not someone else. I have heard so many negative things about this talented young lady, from people, and I often wonder how anyone could have such disdain for someone that they have never met. To me, she appears to be a humble person, who loves her family, friends, and fans with all of her heart, and rather than hopping on the bandwagon with many by tearing her down and speculating about what only she knows, I’d rather hop on the one that says, keep on climbing my lovely “sista”; you are an inspiration to so many, and may you find strength from your mistakes, and courage to rise above the naysayers and player-haters.
I’m glad that your suicide attempt was unsuccessful, Fantasia, and let that dark period of your life be a catalyst for you to rebuild and prosper from. Congratulations on the success of your latest CD, “Back To Me”. You’ve really got something special, and I’m so proud of you and your accomplishments. God bless you.
Author, G. D. Grace
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