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Fantasia says ‘Baby Mama’ meant to inspire

‘Idol’ winner criticized for promoting out of wedlock births
/ Source: The Associated Press

Reigning American Idol Fantasia Barrino said one song on her new CD, “Free Yourself,” is dedicated to young mothers who struggle to support themselves and their children — just as she does.

Her “Baby Mama” track has elicited some criticism as endorsing children out of wedlock, but Barrino, 20, said she isn’t promoting teenage motherhood.

Barrino has a 3-year-old daughter named Zion. She said she isn’t ashamed of being a teenage mother, but “if I could have waited, I would have.”

Young teens come up to her and tell her, “I’m a baby mama.”

“That’s cool,” she tells them, but then she asks, “What are you doing to try to better yourself?”

Traveling with her daughter serves as a reminder of why she works so hard, said Barrino, who returned home to High Point on Friday during her CD promotion tour.

Barrino was among the artists who sang a tribute to Elton John at the 27th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December. She will be a co-host of the Soul Train Awards on Feb. 28, and she is nominated for an NAACP Image Award as outstanding female artist.