Aidin Vaziri | For a woman who attempted suicide in August, Fantasia Barrino sounds remarkably well adjusted today. Why shouldn’t she be? Since being crowned the “American Idol” champion six years ago, she has published an autobiography, made a movie about her life (“Fantasia Barrino: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale”), starred in her own VH1 reality show (“Fantasia for Real”), appeared on Broadway in “The Color Purple,” passed her GED and raised Nancy Grace’s ire. Then again, the 26-year-old Barrino is used to a life of highs and lows, having weathered teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse and estrangement from her father. To cap her comeback, her latest album, “Back to Me,” entered the charts at No. 2.
Q: Let’s start with a list: Win “American Idol”? Check. Write autobiography? Check. Movie? Check. Reality show? Check. Broadway? Check. Top 10? Check. You don’t need to go on tour. You can just retire now.
A: No, no, no. There’s so much more to do. I look up to all those great artists like Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross. They can still hit the stage and do their thing. I want to be like that. I have a long way to go.
Q: If you could step into a time machine and go back to the day before your first “Idol” audition, how would you prepare yourself for the past six years?
A: I don’t know if I can answer that. But I know I wouldn’t change a thing. Even though there were rough times – there were blows I wasn’t ready for – I wouldn’t change anything. I can say that today.