Fantasia ( right ) with guest Dr. Amer Rustom.
Fantasia Barrino was born June 30, 1984, in High Point, N.C., and began singing in church at just five years old. Simon Cowell told the 2004 American Idol winner that he felt she was the very best singer of all the 70 performers that had been crowned in every one of the worldwide competitions. In 2005, her biography, Life Is Not A Fairy Tale, was published and in 2006 the book was made into a film directed by Debbie Allen. Fantasia made music history when she became the very first artist to ever debut at number one with her first single, I Believe, written by former American Idol contestant Tamyra Gray. In 2007, she joined the cast of Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple, playing Celie to the acclaimed delight of critics and audiences.
On Dec. 18, 2007, the very amiable, sweet and talented Fantasia wowed the dazzling crowd at Chicago's Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph, where she performed for dozens of luminaries that included television anchors Robin Robinson and Art Norman; members of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team; models; producers; photographers; and social arbiters who mingled for hours while celebrating George Reynolds' birthday amid the opulence of the gorgeous enclave. Reynolds, the always friendly and smartly dressed owner of the venerable George's Music Room, has helped launch the careers of various hip-hop and R&B performers, and everyone, including Fantasia, showered him with attention and admiration.
Photo by Steve Starr
Steve Starr is the author of Picture Perfect-Art Deco Photo Frames 1926-1946, published by Rizzoli International Publications. A photographer, writer, designer and artist, he is the owner of Steve Starr Studios. His new book, STARRLIGHT-Glamorous Latin Movie Stars of Early Hollywood is to be published in 2008.
Starr's column, STARRLIGHT, appears regularly in various publications including IMAGE Chicago Magazine, Entertainment Magazine Online-EMOL.org/reporters/Starr, the Windy City Times, Extra! and the Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine . Visit www.SteveStarrStudios.com where you can enter The Starrlight Room.
STARRGAZERS-Radiant Photography by Steve Starr is available for portraits and events. Phone 773-252-5171. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Photo of Steve Starr in Chicago, Sept. 2, 2006, by Patrick Hipskind