As Fantasia Barrino prepares to return to the big screen, she’s looking back on the overdose that changed her life.
“I just wanted the noise to stop,” Barrino shared in Variety’s “The Power of Women” issue on Tuesday, November 14, adding that supporting her family financially had become “too much” for her.
The season 3 American Idol winner, 39, was hospitalized in August 2010 after overdosing on aspirin and sleep aids.
Barrino recalled a nurse showing her a stack of magazines with her face on them. The nurse subsequently told Barrino: “You see that young lady? She’s strong. She’s a blessing. Don’t you come back in here no more. You fight.”
After Barrino left the hospital, she vowed to herself that she would “never do that again” as she felt like she had a “purpose.”
“I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up,’” the Color Purple actress shared with the outlet. “I don’t care if it gets ugly. I don’t care if there’s storms. I realized I have the spirit of an eagle. They fly over storms.”
Barrino shared that she is so “happy” right now, especially in her marriage to Kendall Taylor. The twosome tied the knot in 2015 and share daughter Keziah, 2. (Barrino is also mother of son Zion, 22, and son Dallas, 11, from previous relationships.)
“I’m so HAPPY — in all caps — and I never thought I would have that,” she explained to Variety.
This isn’t the first time Barrino has been open about her overdose. Two weeks after her hospitalization, Barrino went on to Good Morning America to discuss everything she had gone through.
“I think I was just overloaded with everything, with carrying six years of so much,” the singer shared. “I always take a licking and keep on ticking … it just became heavy for me to the point that I just wanted to be away from the noise … there’s so much that people don’t understand. They just see the glitz and the glamor, and they feel like life is so perfect, but we’re human and we go through things.”
Barrino rose to stardom after winning season 3 of American Idol in 2004. Following her big win, Barrino earned three Grammy nominations for her 2004 debut album Free Yourself and took home the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her hit single “Bittersweet” in 2010.
The “Lose to Win” singer also transitioned into acting in 2006 when her autobiography, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, was adapted into a television film. Barrino went on to star as Celie Johnson in the Broadway musical The Color Purple from 2007 to 2008. She is set to reprise her role as Celie in the new film adaptation of the musical, which hits theaters in December.