Fantasia Barrino is the winner of the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. Barrino was born June 30 1984 in High Point, North Carolina. Barrino began singing in her church at the age of 5. She has a 3-year-old daughter, Zion, and is currently pursuing her high school diploma.
Fantasia's rise to the final two on American Idol had been plagued with controversies ranging from accusations of racism to concerns over rigged voting and busy telephone signals. In the final performance of the season that formed the basis upon which America voted, Barrino offered a performance that drew effusive praise from the judges including Simon Cowell's remarks that she was the best performer among the over 70 Idol champions crowned internationally since the show began its global competitions. Sixty-five million votes were cast in order to determine the winner on May 26 2004, up from 24 million in 2003 .
Barrino will participate in a US tour with all twelve American Idol finalists.
Fantasia released her first single in June 2004, on the RCA record label. The single includes "I Believe", written by Idol castoff Tamyra Gray, which Fantasia performed after being crowned "American Idol". Two other songs include "Chain of Fools" (both performed live during the competition and released on an earlier American Idol compilation) and her signature version of the Porgy and Bess show tune "Summertime".