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Barrino released her Grammy-nominated debut album, Free Yourself, in 2004 after she won season 3. She later earned 12 Grammy nominations and one Grammy win for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2011. Barrino has recorded a total of seven studio albums including her 2019 album, Sketchbook.
The singer took on Broadway when she starred in the musicals The Color Purple in 2007 and After Midnight in 2013. Barrino also opened up about her personal life in her memoir, Fantasia: Life Is Not a Fairytale, which was turned into a Lifetime movie in 2006. In 2010, Barrino starred in her VH1 reality series, Fantasia for Real, for two seasons. Later that year, she suffered from an aspirin overdose which she later admitted was a suicide attempt.
Barrino married businessman Kendall Taylor in 2015. In May 2021, the pair welcomed their first child together, daughter Keziah. Barrino is also the mother of daughter Zion and son Dallas from previous relationships.
Barrino reprised her role as Celie in the 2023 film adaptation of The Color Purple. During a December 2023 interview with The New York Times, she opened up about the challenges of returning to the emotional subject matter.
“There were times that I just felt like I’m not going to make it. I cannot do it. I would cry going to set. I would cry leaving set,” she said. “I would talk to God, and I would tell him, ‘You’ve got to make this make sense. Make it make sense. There’s got to be something out of this.’ It was so hard.”
Shortly before the interview, Barrino learned that she’d been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for the film.
“That was my prayer. Like, Lord, don’t let my work be in vain, meaning not for awards, but meaning, let these girls see — you are beautiful,” she told the outlet. “You’re placed on this Earth for a reason. You’re brilliant. You’re smart. You are seen. And you can fall, but you can get back up.”