Life for Fantasia ain’t been no crystal stair.  Although she catapulted to stardom on ‘American Idol’ with her husky voice and magnetic stage presence, Fantasia’s had to defy some pretty steep odds. She was sexually assaulted as a teen, she dropped out of high school, and had a child when she was just 16, but still, despite all of the obstacles, she didn’t quit.

Back in June, I had the opportunity to chat with Fantasia about her idol, Aretha Franklin. When we were done, I snuck in a question about how she managed to overcome her immense challenges and still be a success.

Accoring to ‘Tasia, her faith in God and music, which she calls her therapy, kept her sane, but she admits, it wasn’t easy.

I will never stop because I can say that music, for me, is my therapy. And I love the fact that other people enjoy it, so I just travel and share it. But it’s not easy, but nothing comes easy in life. You have to work hard for it.

If you happen to cruise celeb news and gossip blogs, you’ll know Fantasia is often a topic of conversation. Her relationship with Antwaun Cook, her infant son, her rocky Broadway stint, and her ‘Idol’ return last season always seems to come up.

Fantasia and I

I didn’t know what to expect before I met her, and to be honest, I was preparing for the worse. But if I had judged Fantasia by the swirling gossip, I would have missed out on an opportunity to learn what exactly gives the soul star the courage to disregard the haters and continue chasing her dreams.

Although I was expecting her to be a complete diva, her first question to me (‘What’s your sign?’), put me at ease. Soon we weren’t nosey interviewer and guarded mega-superstar; we chatted like two old friends, sharing tips on astrology and life.

Despite the constant criticism, Fantasia remains grounded and focused on her goals, and she advises others to do the same.

You have to stay focused, number one, especially if you’re passionate about something, whether it is acting, singing, being a lawyer, a teacher, or whatever it is. You have to stay hungry for that thing. That way if you’re hungry for it, no matter what type of bumps you hit or doesn’t go the way you think you should go, you’re still not gonna stop. 

Like the rest of us, Fantasia has made mistakes on her climb to the top. Instead of being paralyzed or beating herself up about her missteps, she forgives herself and uses adversity as inspiration.

Some of us fall and we don’t get back up. And that’s why you have to stay grounded. For me, I keep prayer in my life and good people. Now I have the right people in my life who will tell me when I’m wrong and will tell me when I’m right.

But for me, everything that I’ve been through is a testimony. So when I go places, I always say you can’t sing to people or preach to people if you haven’t been through anything. How can we relate?

Despite having her private life splayed out all over the media, Fantasia often uses her life as a testimony for others. Seeing her very real struggles not only helps her fans, but it continues to inspire Fantasia as well. 

So for me, everything that I go through, I just put it out there. Some people say, ‘I can’t believe you said that, or why didn’t you keep that to yourself?’ Because I’m a soul singer, and I sing what I go through, I use it as my testimony. So it has made me a stronger woman today.

… My mother always says, “to much is given, much is required,” so you have to have thick skin and know that some will be for you and some will be against you, but as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, everything will be ok.

I agree, Fantasia. I agree.

How do you overcome your obstacles? 

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