TODAY

TODAY   |  June 12, 2013

Fantasia: Ups, downs make up my ‘testimony’

Actress and singer Fantasia Barrino is out with her fourth studio album, “Side Effects of You” which debuted at the top of the Billboard’s R&B chart. She tells Kathie Lee and Hoda that even though the past 10 years have been a roller coaster, she is always open about her “testimony.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> years since fantasia rocketed into the spotlight, taking home the american idol crown in season three of the show. since then, the r & b star has written a memoir, performed on stage and in screen and released four cds, latest called " side effects of you," which debuted in april at number one on the r & b charts and number two on billboard's top 100 list. what a sophisticated lady . how long ago did fantasia win, you would have said six.

>> does it feel like ten to you?

>> it doesn't, it doesn't. doesn't feel that long, i guess because it's been a lot going on.

>> a lot of experience into those last ten years. some great and some really not so good, huh?

>> yeah.

>> tell us about the last ten years.

>> i wouldn't change a thing, though, it's a part of my testimony and made me the woman that i am today.

>> are you in a good place now?

>> i'm in a great place now. you couldn't give me a million dollars to take away what i feel right now.

>> how about two? everything's negotiable.

>> you have two young kids.

>> yes.

>> a daughter who's 12.

>> 12 this year.

>> and a baby who's 1. that was part of the story, as well, you were already a mom with a 2 year old when you won this thing. you were already battling the stuff that comes with that.

>> the thing about it, i've always been open with my story, that's just life. i was speaking yesterday, we did something at radioshack and i was speaking to the young people that come through to the line, i was preaching to them, i know my story and how easily you can go down the wrong path of trying to fit in or trying to do things that you know you're not supposed to do.

>> doesn't take too long to get lost, does it? even if you're a little off track. before you know it, you're lost.

>> i always share my story to say, listen, we fall down, but you get back up. take it and use it as a lesson learned, and that is what made me the woman i am.

>> when you get up, you really do get up. couple of great things happening, one we had boccelli in the studio, you are opening for him. such a great experience to get the phone call to be asked.

>> i was thinking, are they sure they have the right person?

>> are you singing with him, as well, are you doing the prayer?

>> summertime, i open with summertime, then we both do "when i fall in love," and then end with a song.

>> can i add you to, please, add the prayer? so great.

>> you had to learn how to sing in italian. that was another deal.

>> it was a challenge for me, but i like challenges, i like to do things that people say --

>> he's a lovely man.

>> your new cd, i think we have a cut from it we could listen to.

>> she likes it. got to like what you put out there, baby.

>> this song has become an an anth anthem. we were waiting for this song.

>> what's the title of this one?

>> "sometimes you have to lose to win again."

>> if only we could have heard it. going to come back to broadway some time? you should. you were spectacular.

>> in october.

>> you are?

>> dropped a little news right there. fantasia, always great to see you.

>> we wish you the best, honey.

>> thank you. i like that necklace.

>> you know what, take it off and give it to her.

>> are you serious?

>> i'll take the earrings in