Fantasia

Season 1 Ep 2168/24/2010

In this episode of Behind the Music, Fantasia speaks for the first time - in an exclusive interview -- about her harrowing pill overdose and suicide attempt; and her relationship with a married man that triggered a national scandal. But Fantasia's emotional breakdown was years in the making.Fantasia grew up in rural High Point, North Carolina and was a singing sensation with her family group, which performed locally in the south. But despite her talent, she was a target of abuse in school--for her big lips and dark skin. Fantasia suffered from low self-esteem and dressed provocatively in high school to gain attention. She would be scarred for life when she was raped, at age 14, by a fellow classmate. After dropping out of school, she disappeared down a self-destructive path, became pregnant at 17, and the victim of domestic abuse.A single teenage mother who couldn't find a job, Fantasia was running out of options --until she turned back to music.In 2004, after watching an episode on TV, Fantasia decided to take a shot at American Idol. After arriving to the auditions late (and finding the doors locked), she was the last one to perform after a kind security guard discreetly helped her into an Atlanta stadium. She would go on to impress all of America and win the title, outshining such notable singers as Latoya London and Jennifer Hudson. Her first album was a huge hit and was nominated for four Grammys. She had continued professional success starring on Broadway in The Color Purple and in her own reality show, Fantasia For Real.But Fantasia has endured numerous struggles away from the microphone, including a lawsuit from her father, a scare with cancer, near bankruptcy, and the financial stress of supporting a large family. Her most recent headlines pushed her over the edge -- and nearly cost Fantasia her life. Now, she discusses her tumultuous journey in riveting detail. Just 26 years old, Fantasia has been to hell and back, but thru it all, she's found an inner strength to help overcome even the most daunting of obstacles.

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