Fantasia Barrino hasn’t felt this energized since winning American Idol in 2004.
The singer’s fourth album, Side Effects of You, debuted at No. 1 and No. 2 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop and Top 200 albums charts.
“It feels really good,” she told the AP in a recent interview. “You have to be very careful because there was a time when I went from being up here and everybody loved you. . . . It’s almost, like, tricky.”
A number of things have bruised Fantasia’s image. In 2010, police believed they were responding to an attempted suicide after she overdosed on aspirin and other pills at her home in Charlotte, N.C., but her manager says she wasn’t trying to kill herself.
The onetime VH1 reality star gave birth to her son, Dallas, in 2011 and was criticized for being in a relationship with a married man, Antwaun Cook, who is no longer in the picture.
There have been positive experiences, too, since becoming an Idol champ (R&B singer Candice Glover took the honors Thursday night). Fantasia won her first Grammy Award in 2011, has released platinum and gold albums, and starred on Broadway in The Color Purple.
And she’ll be opening for Andrea Bocelli for five dates this summer (no South Florida stop).
At 28, she feels wiser now.
“I think that me changing some things in my life and not really blaming everybody else anymore, actually sitting back and figuring out what it was that Fantasia was doing wrong [helped],” she said. “In a way, I don’t get it much in my mind and let it send me into a depression, you know, ’cause there’s a lot of things you just cannot change.”
Making the album wasn’t easy.
“I remember it being kind of tough, kind of like a pull because everybody thinks they know what you should do or they want to go with what’s hot right now; somebody put out a hot single, and everybody thinks you should do songs that sound like that. But I just said, ‘No. I know what I want.’ ”