Fantasia Barrino finally comes out with a new album after three years, but the road wasn't a smooth one. Hitting downward spiral after getting slapped with numerous negative publicities, she was thinking of leaving music industry a few years ago. "I was starting to hate what I loved - the label, the industry I was at a place where I knew what I wanted. And if I couldn't have it, I didn't want to do it anymore," she admitted.
It all began when she was criticized for her alleged diva antics, label tension, her weight and drama during her Broadway debut in "The Color Purple". In 2010, the R&B singer and actress was even accused of ruining a man's marriage.
Trying to escape from her personal and professional issues, Fantasia took too many sleeping pills and aspirin and overdosed in August the same year. "My intentions weren't to kill myself. I just wanted to get away. [I had] so much â�¦ on me, on my mind," so she shared.
Finding a way to put the pieces back together, Fantasia claimed, "I think at this point I know how to handle things in a much (more) mature way. In a way, I don't get it much in my mind, my mental, and let it send me into a depression, you know, 'cause there's a lot of things you just cannot change."
She instead decided to share her bad experiences in her new music, such as in the title track of her fourth album "Side Effects of You". "I was looking for a cure to pull me through / Tried to decide which medicine to use / Every bottle has your name on the label," she sings in the song co-written by Emeli Sande.
"I'm putting it all out there," she said, although it's still hard for her to listen to the emotional song. "I leave the room. At this point I can talk about [the overdose] because I believe God put me here now. I decided to share that on this album."
"Reaching that point, such a dark place. I don't want anybody to experience that dark moment," she continued. "That was the hardest song to record, but I knew that I had to. If I can help somebody through that one song then I'll do it."
Now, the winner of "American Idol" season 3 is "in a happy place." She went on claiming, "I've found peace. I'm back to that Fantasia that first walked onstage. I can tell you now that my smile is genuine - and it's not just pretend."
Her raw emotion shown in the album surely catches the heart of her fans, as her latest effort successfully debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 200 chart. She also got favorable reviews from critics, with one saying she "has released her finest album yet."