Grammy Award winner Fantasia gets to play herself in the ultimate ‘hood to Hollywood story

The inspirational story of American Idol® winner Fantasia Barrino - a young girl who started out with nothing but talent and used her incredible voice to make her dreams come true. Fantasia Barrino (playing herself) was a teenage dropout with no money, no education and no chance at a real future. Finding herself in a loveless, abusive relationship, she became pregnant at 16 with no one to turn to for help. Based on Fantasia's own memoirs, the film chronicles her life from tough childhood through to triumphant winner of American Idol®, where her powerful singing made her an instant sensation and changed her life forever. Directed by Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Debbie Allen. Life Is Not A Fairytale also stars Loretta Devine and Tony® award winner Viola Davis.

R&B star Fantasia seems to have it all. The winner of American Idol has a Grammy to her name, wowed audiences in the hit Broadway production of The Color Purple and topped the best-selling lists with her memoir.
But life was often a struggle for this once unemployed single mother.

“My life looks like a fairy tale in many ways, but you have to remember that life is not a fairy tale. I was the American Idol but at the time I couldn’t even read a fairy tale to my four-year-old daughter,” she revealed in her biography Life is Not a Fairytale.

Her book has been turned into a movie of the same title which airs on True Movies (DStv Channel 138) on both Monday March 7 &14 at 20h45.

“But was my past, and where I am now is my future. We all go through things and the things I went through made me who I am today,” she says.

Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story marked Fantasia’s first movie acting role.
“I was like, ‘well, who is going to play me, and what is she going to look like? I want to meet her!” she says, before she realised that the producers had her in mind to play herself all along.

The film also features Emmy Award winning How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis as her mother and is directed by Fame star Debbie Allen.

She says they were brilliant teachers who gave her enormous confidence but reveals that music is still her first love.
“Music (has always) saved me. I look up artists to who’ve been through things, artists who sing from their soul. I took my cues from them, and I just put my mind and everything into music.”

So who are her role models: “I watch my mom and Miss Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin. When I sit down and I talk with them, it’s like these women are legends. They’re so classy in my eyes. That’s the way I want to be.”

Some facts about Fantasia:
Her single Bittersweet won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
In  2014  she was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
Barrino has been nicknamed “Baby Patti LaBelle” by her idol Patti LaBelle.
Her heartfelt rendition of Summertime from Porgy and Bess has been named the best performance American Idols history.
In 2012, VH1 named Barrino 32nd out of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.
No Time for It, the first single from  her latest album, was released in January this year.

Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story airs on True Movies (DStv Channel 138) on both Monday March 7 &14 at 20h45.