FAYETTEVILLE — Next Sunday, couples are expected to be lined up outside the Crown Center in the hopes of catching a special post-Valentine’s Day performance from North Carolina native and “American Idol” winner Fantasia.
The 29-year-old soul artist, who made her 2004 debut on the third season of the popular reality series “American Idol,” has come a long way since her “Idol” days. In her relatively short career the Grammy-winning artist has managed to sell 1.5 million digital tracks and nearly 3 million records.
The show will begin at 7 p.m.
“People are very excited about this show,” said Katie Mikos, director of marketing for the Crown Center. “… She performed here, I believe, two years ago, and people just loved her.”
The singer, formerly known by her full name, Fantasia Barrino, was born in High Point to parents Diane and Joseph Barrino, before moving to Greensboro after dropping out of high school because of the trauma of having been raped by a classmate.
The artist’s difficult life has served as inspiration for both her music and her career in acting. After winning “American Idol,” Fantasia went on to release her debut album, “Free Yourself,” that same year. The album quickly went platinum and earned her three Grammy nominations. She followed her debut album up with a self-titled 14-track LP in 2008, which featured the single, “When I See U.” The single went on to top the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop-Songs chart eight weeks in a row. The album has since been certified gold and again garnered her three Grammy nominations.
In 2005, the singer published an autobiography titled “Life Is Not a Fairy Tale,” which was adapted into a Lifetime original movie the following year titled “Fantasia Barrino: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale,” in which she starred, playing herself.
Fantasia continued her acting career by taking the lead role of Celie in a Broadway revival of “The Color Purple” in 2007, before returning to music with her 2010 album “Back to Me.”
Currently, Fantasia is touring with music from her fourth album, “Side Effects of You,” which was released in April and features collaborations with artists Big K.R.I.T., Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott. Thus far the album has received rave reviews, with music critics commenting on the singer’s notable progression from her earlier works.
As part of marketing the event, the Crown is allowing fans to enter to win two tickets to Sunday’s show, along with a night’s stay at the Doubletree Inn in Fayetteville, with a free dinner at Doubletree’s Marquis’ Bistro. To participate, fans must go to the Crown Center’s Facebook page and fill out a survey before the Wednesday deadline.
“This is a family event, but it is Valentine’s weekend and I think we’ll have a lot of people who will look at this as a date night experience,” Mikos said. “We will have a lot of couples show up.”
“We’ve been waiting for this all year,” said Teresa Degaz, who admitted to regretting having missed Fantasia’s last Fayetteville show. “I’d probably end up going with or without a date.”