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Tag: Fantasia Barrino (1-6 of 6)

Usher headlining 'Essence' Music Festival tonight -- PHOTOS

R&B superstar Usher is headlining tonight’s concerts at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans at the Lousiana Superdome. At left, you can see a shot from his sound check for tonight’s performance.

The Friday main stage show are also featuring performances by Charlie Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and Boyz II Men. Kanye West will headline tomorrow’s main stage show; he’ll be preceded by Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, and El DeBarge. The festival will wrap up on Sunday with performances from Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Trey Songz, and Kem.

Check out another shot from Usher’s sound check below:  READ FULL STORY

Fantasia Barrino to tour this fall

fantasia-barrinoImage Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.comAny doubts about how Fantasia Barrino has recovered from her difficult summer will be put to rest this fall when she hits the road for her Back to Me tour. She’ll play 30 dates, beginning with a Nov. 4 stop in Richmond, VA. Kandi and Eric Benet have been announced as her special guests. Check out the full list of venues.

Barrino attempted suicide on Aug. 9, overdosing on aspirin and sleeping aids after a barrage of negative press focused on her relationship with a married man. The drama was captured for her VH1 reality show, Fantasia For Real, leading some to ask if the show was too real.

Is this a comeback you’re rooting for? Touring is one way to put the focus back on her music.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on Fantasia:
Fantasia talks to ABC about attempted suicide: ‘I just wanted out’
Fantasia for Real: Too real?
Fantasia’s Behind the Music: Will she rise above the drama?

More on The Music Mix:
President Barack Obama says he listens to the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, and… Lil Wayne in Rolling Stone interview
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees: Who got left out?
Michael Bublé goes full-on Bieber in “Hollywood” video
Kid Cudi pleads guilty to drug misdemeanor, avoids jail
Bret Michaels bares (almost) all for Billboard

Disturbed wins top spot on Billboard 200 chart

DisturbedImage Credit: Travis ShinnRock band Disturbed has the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Asylum debuts on top with 179,000 copies sold. Next is the Now 35 compilation, at No. 2 with 105,000 units bought. Eminem’s Recovery maintains its spot at No. 3 with 93,000. Last week’s No. 1, Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream, slips to No. 4 with 88,000.

Fantasia’s Back To Me falls three slots to No. 5 in its sophomore showing with 40,000 units sold. Lyfe Jennings’ I Still Believe debuts at No. 6 with 36,000 albums purchased. The Goo Goo Dolls’ first album in four years, Something For the Rest Of Us, enters at No. 7, selling 34,000 copies.

Justin Bieber‘s My World 2.0 drops a slot to No. 8, selling 31,000 copies. Camp Rock 2: the Final Jam moves up four places to No. 9 with 28,000 copies sold. Rounding out the top 10 is rock band Heart, whose Red Velvet Car opens at No. 10 with 27,000 albums bought.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More news from’s Music Mix:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a country rock cover of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’: Watch here
Kings Of Leon return with new single and video ‘Radioactive’
Bruno Mars wows his lady with cassette tape drawings in ‘Just the Way You Are’ video: Watch here
Allison Iraheta parts ways with Jive Records
Where’s the beef? Lady Gaga goes raw in new photo spread
Ke$ha before the $: High-school footage unearthed

Katy Perry debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 albums chart

Teenage-DreamImage Credit: Ari MichelsonThough she did not earn the numbers we expected, Katy Perry comes in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her Teenage Dream set sold 192,000 copies in its debut frame. It’s still her best ever sales week, though. Her last album, 2008’s One of the Boys of “I Kissed a Girl” fame, debuted and peaked at No. 9 with 47,000 albums sold.

American Idol alum Fantasia debuts at No. 2 with Back To Me, selling 117,000 copies. Eminem‘s Recovery falls two spots to No. 3, moving 98,000 units. And Usher’s companion to this year’s Raymond V Raymond, Versus, premieres at No. 4 with 46,000 copies sold.

Little Big Town’s The Reason Why debuts at No. 5 with 42,000 albums sold. While selling 30,000 copies, Kem’s Intimacy drops from last week’s No. 2 to No. 6. Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 lifts one place to No. 7, selling 29,000 units.

Country group Randy Rogers Band’s Burning the Day enters at No. 8, boasting 29,000 albums sold. Ray LaMontagne’s God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise drops six spots to No. 9, selling 28,000 copies. Rounding out the top 10 is the Devil Wears Prada’s five-song concept EP, Zombie, at No. 10 with 25,000 copies sold.

Did you buy Katy Perry’s album? Happy Fantasia came in at No. 2? Let us know.

Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More news from’s Music Mix:
T.I. celebrates box office success with ‘Takers,’ readies ‘King Uncaged’
Kanye West’s remix of Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love” surfaces online
Arcade Fire take you home in their fantastic new interactive video
Ryan Bingham’s ‘Hallelujah’ video: Watch an exclusive premiere on the Music Mix!
Kanye West and Jay-Z announce collab EP, drop all-star ‘Monster’
Paul McCartney guests

Fantasia's 'Bittersweet' video: Best of her career? (Yes!)

I can’t stop watching Fantasia’s new video for “Bittersweet” on repeat loop, and I’m not just saying that because today is her 26th birthday or because she remains my all-time favorite Idol. Indeed, while the clip for this gorgeous, old-soul ballad doesn’t break any new ground in terms of storytelling (Fantasia reminisces about an ex-lover) or visual effects (rich, retro lighting prevails), it finds the American Idol season 3 champ at her stylish, classy best — and that’s no small achievement for an amazing vocalist whose look has occasionally been more “gah!” than gahhh-geous.

“Bittersweet” begins with a swoop of Fantasia’s name across the screen, before transporting us to The Lady Barrino’s dressing-room table, where she gets gussied up for a nightclub appearance, fiddles wistfully with her ostentatious diamond engagement ring, and imagines falling back into the arms of her wayward lover. The fringed lamp and colorful makeup palette are nice touches, as is the light refracting through her bottle of Nuvo (or something like it). ‘Tasia then takes the stage (all ruched curtains and dramatic side-spotlights) to a standing ‘O’ from the audience — well, how else would they greet that legendary voice? — and serves up retro torch-singer glamor in a slinky, strappy, sequined, floor-length gown. Again, you see her man in the audience, and then you don’t. Oh, memory! How you torment our heroine! Later, there’s Fantasia in a red-and-black leopard-print trench that manages to be completely flattering while still maintaining some of the loopy what-is-she-thinking? uniqueness for which she is known. Ten points to the video’s stylist for this particular frock! And 10 more for the dramatic white overcoat and black shades Fantasia is sporting as she gloomily scans an audience of autograph-seekers hoping her man has been running through airports and down sidewalks (preferably in the rain) (her music blaring in his head) (seeking one last chance to make things right) to reach her. Turns out, in fact, that’s precisely what he’s been up to, but he’s too late, and as our gal drives away, she tosses her bling to the sidewalk in a final fit of melancholie. As the song’s final line indicates, “This s*** is bittersweet.” Indeed! READ FULL STORY

Fantasia's 'Even Angels': The best 'American Idol' victory anthem the show has never had!

Full disclosure: I’m one of the world’s biggest fans of Fantasia Barrino. Play me YouTube footage of her singing “I Believe” on the American Idol season 3 performance finale, and I’m guaranteed to cry like it’s the final scene of Six Feet Under. Fire up that rendition of “Lady Marmalade” she delivered at a Patti LaBelle tribute concert, and I assure you I’ll throw a minimum of one hand in the air (then wave it ’round like I’m totally square). But even I have to admit the shortcomings of some of ‘Tasia’s post-Idol output. For every electrifying romp like “Hood Boy,” there’ve been meandering midtempo jams with about as much flavor and distinctiveness as corn-starch thickener in a mass-market bisque. For every “uh-huh this girl knows how to murder it” ballad like “Free Yourself,” there’ve been melody-free compositions that left our Idol heroine to wail to no avail.

But “Even Angels,” a brand new track from Fantasia’s upcoming third studio album that she’ll perform tomorrow on Oprah, finds the current VH1 reality star aiming directly for a date with the pop charts, which is a distinct change from the grittier R&B focus of her previous records. (Hat tip to mjsbigblog for alerting me to its availability.) The unabashedly sentimental ode to recalibrating one’s inner compass has a lovely, well-defined melody that provides a border for a singer with a penchant for hollerating way outside the lines (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This unexpected vocal restraint, combined with a lilting piano line and lyrics that follow the singer pondering how to go it alone on the most ordinary of days, build slowly and almost imperceptibly. Then, at the 3:00 mark, “Even Angels,” written by Heather Bright and produced by The Stereotypes, reaches a thunderous, echoing climax — “even angels, even angels learn to fly…fly…fly…fly” — that could manipulate even Ryan Tedder into a full-bodied sway, and which plays out like a mashup  of Beyoncé’s recent Grammy winner “Halo” and Bette Midler’s slice of classic sap “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Sure, it’s the kind of song you’d expect to hear a future Carrie Underwood or Jordin Sparks singing at the Kodak in May (while trying to avoid getting confetti in her mouth), and yet, ‘Tasia upgrades lines like “First step, take a deep breath/ You don’t need a reason why” with a voice that packs more emotion into a couple of bars than most Auto-Tuned pop tarts deliver on an entire album. It’s good to have Ms. Barrino back with some new music; here’s hoping radio agrees. (And here’s also hoping that just because “Even Angels” is pretty and poppy, that Fantasia doesn’t deny us some of her beautifully ugly funk on the forthcoming CD.)

What do you think of “Even Angels”? If RCA makes this the lead single, could you envision it having an impact on the Hot 100? Sound off in the comments below, but before you do, a three-step plan: Follow EW’s Music Mix blog on Twitter @EWMusicMix; then follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak; and then, after the jump, check out my recent five-part interview with Fantasia (covering everything from her VH1 show to her Gospel roots to her desire to rock).


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