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Cherry Pop

Fantasia Barrino  ('American Idol 3' WINNER!!) Fantasia Barrino ('American Idol 3' WINNER!!)
'Simply Fantastic!'

'American Idol 3' was all about the 19-year-old (6/30/84) from Highpoint, NC, who started singing in church with her family at the age of 5. According to her mother, Fantasia's 2-year-old daughter, Zion Barrino, is going to be an AMERICAN IDOL also!!

Self-described as a crazy woman, Fantasia likes to go skating and dancing. Currently, Fantasia is attending PCBI Madison High School, pursing her diploma. In her first "American Idol' performance she sang Bonnie Raitt's 'Something to Talk About'.

Chatting with her today as she prepares to promote her debut CD single 'I Believe', she's noticeably tired, but yet upbeat, bouncy, happy, and ready for all the questions we have:

Your CD single 'I Believe' is out today. What plans have you got to launch it? "I've been doing press and photo shoots. I thought that the single will do good because there are encouraging songs."

Fantasia, in your honest opinion, did you expect to win this year's 'AI' and if not, who? "I thought Diana would win. I hoped I would win. I stopped looking at it like a competition, I just wanted to get out there and do my music."

What was going through your mind just before the winner was announced? "I was just thanking God and telling myself, 'I did it. I did it'."

How does it feel like to have almost all good reviews everytime you sang on AI? you seem to have little disagreement in being the 'AI'? "Like I said, I stopped looking at it like a competition, and I wasn't going out there for that, I just wanted to get my music out there. My prayers every day were 'God blind my eyes and close my ears to negativity'."

What has prompted you to drop your last name for all future recordings? "It wasn't a big deal for me, it's just that my name is so long so I asked them and they said I could just drop the last name."

Did you teach Jon Peter Lewis the bobo?! "We wanted to do just that," she laughs! "But no, Jon Peter Lewis came in with his own dance, he had his own thing going on."

What do you think about Simon and the way he treats the 'AI' contestants? "I think he's going to say what he's going to say and you have to be a tough cookie. He's just getting us ready for that the world is doing now. Sometimes it's nice things but sometimes it's not. He didn't like one of my songs and he told me."

How has life changed for you now, as a single mom? "I'm able to take care of her now. I'm really busy, but I don't have to borrow from anyone now which is really good. I'm a good mother and we have the best relationship."

Where is the one place you can't wait to visit! "I want to go to Jamaica and Africa. I want to see the land, and talk to the people, go there and chill out."

Was there a inspiration to your singing? "I've been singing since I was 5 in the church house. There was this happy feeling, it didn't matter what I was going through off stage, when I was on stage that all went away.I knew God gave me a great gift, and I'm going to use it."

Do you keep in contact with any of the other contestants? "Oh yeah, I talk to them all. I haven't talked to them in a while. I talked to George, and LaToya the other day, it's been a while since I've talked to the rest, but we keep in contact."

Have you got a favorite nickname?! "My mom calls me Lizzie, because I stuck out my tongue!"

Have you guys started rehearsing for the tour yet? "We start rehearsing next week, which is pretty cool, I'll get to see all the idols again and we'll be able to chit chat and catch up on everything."

You have been such a busy girl lately. What do you do to relax? Do you have a guilty pleasure? "No, just every chance I get I just close my eyes and get a lot of rest. I have a heating pad I lay on and I'm out."

what are some of the people that you met so far, who do you want to meet? "I've met a lot of people. I would love to meet Aretha Franklin."

How has being in 'AI' changed your life? "Now I'm ready to share my music with the world, I'll take care of family, and it's given me a chance. Idol gave me a chance and I'm stronger now and it's helped me out a whole, whole, whole lot."

What do you hope your daughter Zion learns from this experience? "To respect herself and to go after her dreams, no matter what they are."

What advice would you give to someone planning on auditioning for 'American Idol' in the future? "Don't change for nobody, and don't let anyone tell you you can't, because you can."

Finally, any last words to all your fans out there? "Thank you guys so much, love you, thank you for supporting. Keep supporting me and praying for me, and go after your dreams!"

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