Will Fantasia’s New Record ‘Back To Me’ Resurrect Her As a Singing Sensation?
The Former ‘American Idol’ Winner Hopes Her Third Album Will Make Fans Forget About Her Recent Personal Problems
Written by: Karen Benardello
Fantasia Barrino is trying to break back into the music scene with her third album, ‘Back To Me,’ released by J Records on August 24. But after the former ‘American Idol’ winner’s recent personal troubles, watching her kick off her promotional tour for the record can easily make both fans and critics question if she’s ready to get back to work.
Citing a renewed commitment to her music career and fans, Fantasia confirmed that she will visit a variety of talk shows, including past appearances on ‘Good Morning America,’ the day the CD was released and ‘Lopez Tonight,’ the following day. Her upcoming appearances include ‘106 & Park’ on September 8th; ‘Regis & Kelly’ the next day; and finally, ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ on the 10th.
Jrecords.com added that several critics have given ‘Back To Me’ good reviews, including The New York Daily News and Billboard. But the album surprisingly includes the song ‘I’m Here’ as a bonus track. ‘I’m Here’ is Fantasia’s well-known song from her time starring in the lead role of Celie in the Broadway play ‘The Color Purple.’
But including ‘I’m Here’ is just a reminder to fans that the innocent girl everyone was rooting for on ‘American Idol’ to turn her life around had suddenly become not so innocent anymore. Deciding to star in ‘The Color Purple’ was the downfall of Fantasia’s music career; instead of focusing on her records, she surprised everyone by instead taking on a Broadway show.
Despite earning critical acclaim when she first took on the role, Fantasia had to cut her time with the Broadway show short. She missed 50 performances, and producers had to refund thousands of dollars to disappointed fans. They had to scramble to find a quick replacement for her moments before the show was set to begin several times.
Fantasia missed the shows because she was ill, but since she didn’t disclose that to the public, it looked like she was just abandoning her responsibilities. ‘The Color Purple’ closed less than three weeks after her contract ended on January 6, 2008, despite having other big name stars, including Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and another ‘American Idol’ contestant, LaKisha Jones, step in. The following September, Fantasia finally revealed to Sister 2 Sister magazine that she developed a tumor on her throat that left her feeling drained and too exhausted to keep performing every night.
Then came the speculation that Fantasia was having an affair with Antwaun Cook, a married man, and rumors began swirling the two had made a sex tape. After Cook’s wife Paula filed for divorce earlier this month and also began alleging the two made the tape, Fantasia tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills.
While Fantasia’s fans will surely be excited that she’s finally releasing new music, the timing seems rushed. It seems as though J Records wants to push the fact that she is still making records, and make the public forget about her personal problems. Hopefully her music will help her get through the healing process, and Fantasia will only make headlines for her music and not her personal life in the future.