Fantasia Barrino and her husband, Kendall Taylor, were a vision of love during their romantic beachside anniversary dinner. The couple celebrated their one-year anniversary this week with delicious desserts, champagne and roses.
The former American Idol winner, who as a 19-year-old single mother, belted her way to victory in 2004, shared some intimate moments from their dinner labeling them as “#The Definition Of…Love” in honor of her new album title.
The couple married last year in a lavish red, black and white-themed wedding ceremony and reception in North Carolina.
But, long before she met her new husband, Fantasia put a ring on herself. “I was getting all of my old relationships out of my system,” recalls the Charlotte, N.C., native “I didn’t want anybody; I said, ‘I’m marrying myself.’ ” The token of that commitment to herself was not quite the dazzling piece of bling that proudly sits on her ring finger today, courtesy of Taylor, the COO of a local courier company — but, she says, “I spent good money on it; that was me realizing my value. I said, ‘Some man has to top this, because I’m worth it.’”
Getting to that place of self-worth has been “a roller coaster” ride, says the 32-year-old singer.
After being on the highest of highs during Idol fame, a platinum-selling album (2004’s Free Yourself) and critical acclaim on Broadway for her 2007 stint in The Color Purple — only to be followed by the lowest of lows with depression and financial hardships.
After Idol, she recalls, “I was this Southern girl, green and gullible and eager to please.” And while her career initially flourished, bad decisions — both professional and personal — took their toll. The situation came to a head in the spring of 2010 during the divorce trial of her then-boyfriend, Antwaun Cook, with allegations and accusations of home-wrecking, pregnancy and sex tapes. The whole humiliating ordeal went public and scrutiny from fans and naysayers was everywhere. It culminated on Aug. 9, 2010, when Fantasia attempted suicide by downing a bottle of aspirin. “I was a broken woman,” she tells Billboard magazine.
Picking up the pieces and fueled with determination, Fantasia started posting daily affirmations on her mirror with saying like: “You are strong,” “You are wise.” That, along with her faith and a copy of self-help bible The Power of Now, keeps her grounded today. Hitting that low point, she says, “put me in a place where I know what I do and don’t want, musically. If I can’t do what I feel, then I quit.”
But Today, with a loving husband, sold out shows and beautiful children, she knows those dark days are behind her. Now, when talks about her husband, she gushes and stand firm and proud.
“Everything changed when I met him,” she says. The connection was instantaneous: Just three weeks after meeting at a local club, the pair wed in 2015. The brief courtship was intense, fulfilling — and celibate; they didn’t consummate the relationship until their wedding night, she confides. “I just knew [he was the one]. I was getting ready to go on the road, and he got on his knees and said, ‘Can I pray for you? I just want to cover for you down the road.’ In the time I’d been fasting from relationships, I asked God for someone to pray for me,…
… someone that could cover me and my kids [Dallas, 4, and Zion, 14] and be the man of the house. That’s when I knew.”
The singer now sings songs of empowerment, self-worth and praise. Here’s one of her new songs, “No Time For It”
Her music isn’t the only thing that has changed. Fantasia’s body is ridiculous to say the least! During her lowest period, Fantasia gained nearly 50 pounds, but you can’t even tell now. She regularly posts pictures and videos of her and her husband working out together. It’s a family thing, she says.
“I hope to just bless somebody through music,” she says before taking the stage at her recent concert. “To God be the glory.”
Here’s to Fantasia’s marriage, wishing them many more years of bliss to come!