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Fantasia to light up the Sun Dome

Published May 21, 2005

It's no surprise that Fantasia is headlining Without Walls International Church's free "Super Saturday" concert tonight at the USF Sun Dome.

With the passion of an evangelist, the 2004 American Idol winner attributes to God her rise from small-town teenage mother and high school dropout in High Point, N.C., to hot R&B singer.

"God's anointing is still on my life, and I feel God has put me here for a reason, and that's to win souls and lives that nobody else would have won," she said Thursday.

Fantasia, 20, performs tonight with Fred Hammond, a Stellar Award-winning gospel artist.

The past year has been a surprise, she said. Three singles from her debut CD, Free Yourself, are in heavy rotation at radio stations across the country. The CD has gone platinum.

"My dream was to sing in front of thousands of people, and now it's overwhelming," she said.

Her schedule is full. Wednesday she was in Atlantic City. Friday she was in New York auditioning for a role in the movie version of the 1980s Broadway hit Dreamgirls, based on the rise of Diana Ross and the Supremes. The only downside has been being away from "lil' Mama," her daughter, Zion.

And there has been flak.

One of her recent releases, Baby Mama, was criticized by some who said she was glorifying single parenthood. She said the song does the opposite. And during American Idol, she said, she took "a lot of junk" for being a single mother and a high school dropout.

"When I got pregnant with Zion, everybody gave up on me," Fantasia said. "But this song is to let single mothers know that life is not over. Your dreams still can be accomplished.

"Before I recorded the song, I knew there was going to be some controversy, but I said, "I'm going to have a song with respect. Lift your head up. There is a lot we have to do, and I love you. You can do this thing.' "

She said fans can look for a gospel album at some point.

"The church, it's just in me," she said.

Demorris Lee can be reached at 813 269-5312 or


American Idol winner Fantasia performs at 7 tonight at the USF Sun Dome in a Without Walls International Church "Super Saturday" concert. Admission is free.

[Last modified May 21, 2005, 01:02:05]

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