“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
An emotional Fantasia Barrino broke down in tears in front of hundreds of adoring fans during her performance at the Truth Is concert staged at the Ambassador Hotel, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday night. Allowing the tears to flow freely, the Grammy Award and 2004 American Idol winner had the crowd awestruck, as she cried while delivering her hit song Even Angels, from her third album Back To Me.
The star who was in Trinidad to celebrate her 28th birthday told fans she had been through many obstacles in her life but had emerged stronger with the help of God. “No matter what you’ve been through, know that you can fly. I have to tell God thank you because he has blessed me. Just when I thought it was all over, he kept blessing me,” said Fantasia. “He’s always been there. I made it through because of God...Everything I went through is my testimony.”
Noting that the music industry is “very snakish,” Fantasia said it got very tough sometimes, as she had to deal with a lot of negativity during her career. She said, “This year, we lost Whitney Houston…They just wouldn’t leave her alone. They did not understand that she was only human. We lose family, friends, all for the love of money. The only person who will never leave you is Jesus.”
Known for her energetic performances, the multi-talented artiste, who sold more than two million albums, did not disappoint. Dressed in an orange ensemble with silver accessories, Fantasia graced the stage around midnight, singing her 2010 track It’s All Good. She was greeted with loud screams and cheers from her fans. She was backed by her band, which included one male and two female singers.
Fantasia’s voice was crisp and clear, and patrons sang and danced along during her hour-long stint on stage. Her repertoire included hits from past and current albums including Truth Is, When I See You, Free Yourself, Collard Greens and Cornbread, and Bittersweet.
Fantasia later ripped off the bottom part of her outfit which transformed into a mini dress, revealing her tattooed legs. She boasted that she had learnt how to wine during her short stay and called on the crowd to “help me work it.” “I didn’t come here to be cute,” Fantasia said, as she kicked off her silver heels. “I came here to give you your money’s worth.” Fantasia then sent the crowd into a frenzy when she sang hits of yesteryear, including Prince’s Kiss and Tina Turner’s I Can’t Stand the Rain.
Fans, who came dressed to impress, showed their appreciation for the singer with loud applause and screams. One over-enthusiastic male fan kept shouting, “Ah love yuh girl! Oh Gosh!” Fantasia acknowledged him with a smile and a wave. Another male patron got the chance to join her onstage where he took the opportunity to show the star his dance moves.
To end her set, Fantasia sang American gospel artiste’s VaShawn Mitchell’s popular track Nobody Greater. With hands outstretched, the teary-eyed singer led the crowd in a worship session, as fans, young and old, put their hands in the air and sang along. “The only person who will never leave you is Jesus,” Fantasia said, as she knelt on stage, before making her exit shortly after 1 am.
Before Fantasia’s performance, there were many technical glitches and the show did not proceed smoothly. The DJ had difficulty keeping the music flowing between sets and patrons were seen standing around the venue looking bored. Big Brown and the LE Family opened the show but despite enjoying himself onstage, he failed to move the crowd. American singer Nina Foxx didn’t fare too well either as she delivered a lacklustre performance, singing two hip-hop tracks from her repertoire.
Trinidad-born Ifa Sayo (Susan Forson) raised the tempo a bit when she sang Adele’s Somebody Like You and Rolling In The Deep. Fans were pleased with soca artiste Kimba Sorzano who gave a good performance and managed to excite the crowd with his infectious tracks, including Over You and Put It On Me.