24 March 2006

respect fantasia

Contrary to popular belief, the third winner of American Idol, Fantasia Barrino, didn't do poorly on the charts with her first album Free Yourself. The album went platinum, selling 1.6 million, but it is rumored to have gone double platinum. While this is nowhere near the 2.4 million copies that Kelly Clarkson pushed out with her first album Thankful, the album gained her four Grammy nominations...three more nominations than Clarkson's debut album.

What am I trying to tell you? That this illiterate chick from the south should gain more recognition? Well, yes...that's exactly what I'm trying to tell you. You could call it a guilty pleasure, but I'm not embarassed...I love the music of good ol' 'Tasia. I'm not saying she's better than Ms. Clarkson, but she deserves the same type of respect we give the "Since U Been Gone" goddess.

In the greated scheme of things, I'm trying to tell you that this isn't the last you've heard of Fantasia. Unlike season two winner, Ruben Studdard (who was overshadowed by the success of Gay Aiken), she won't fade into obscurity. She may not have won either of those four Grammies, but neither did Kelly. Now, Kelly won TWO Grammy wins and apparently is...er...really big in Indonesia, popping out four number one singles in a row over there. Clarkson may also be popping out a sixth (seventh if you count "Gone") single ("Addicted") and a new album later this year. And where did all this success come from? A second album.

While several of the songs didn't make it onto the charts or have videos, Fantasia released six singles from her first album. She's received rave reviews from everyone from Elton John to Ghostface Killah. She's toured with Kanye West...and she appeared on an episode of The Simpsons. She's even released a book despite being illiterate.

And you know what? She's learning to read! Now she can read to her daughter, read contracts, and maybe even read this blog. That's progress...the girl is moving on up in the world. Rumor has it, she is also pursuing her GED.

Though she lost out to Jennifer Hudson for a role in Dreamgirls, in July 2006 we'll get our first peek at Fantasia's acting ability with an autobiographical Lifetime original movie...which can't wind up being worst than (or as amazing as) From Justin to Kelly. And her next album is set to be released this year...She'll be working once more with Missy Elliott as well as singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, who wrote Mario's "Let Me Love You". Fantasia also plans to write some of her own music and is hoping to experiment with new genres, such as country and rock. Maybe, just maybe...her second album will allow her to shine, just as it did for Kelly.

I guarantee that Fantasia isn't just another reality television reject from this glorified karaoke-fest. Her genuine, energetic performances and big, soulful voice will take her to a much better place than that. And if she doesn't make it, she will always have her "Bobo" and can't nobody take that away from her.

1 comment:

Larry D. Lyons II said...

truer words have ne'er been blogged! fantasia is easily the wost charasmatic idol winner and certainly the most distinct voice to make it through the cookie-cutter crucible of the pop-crazed show.
hats off to you for recognizing her talent. i hope folks take note and follow your example!