This Friday brings with it the release of Fantasia‘s fifth studio album ‘The Definition Of…’
It’s a fitting title for this titan of talent, who defines vocalist, defines endurance, and defines diva.
Since winning American Idol in 2004, the North Carolina native has established the stage as her most potent playground.
As such, That Grape Juice implore you to join us after the jump as we countdown our Top 5 Fantasia Performances…
5b) I Believe (In Honor Of Obama At NAACP Awards 05)
Upon the release of ‘I Believe,’ Ms. Barrino won the hearts of America all over again after they voted her their Idol.
And while her crowning performance resonates to this day, it’s her showing in honor of Barack Obama at the 2005 NAACP Awards that is most impactful for us.
At the time, he was Senator of Illinois and was being saluted for his community efforts. 11 years on, 8 of which he served as US President, the lyrics hit home all the more. For, while “Yes We Can” was the motto that aided his election, this performance – watched years on – evokes a feeling “Yes We Did.”
Flawless vocal and filled to the brim with emotion.
5a) Superwoman (Babyface Tribute At Soul Train Awards 2015)
It takes a special kind of act to stand out of the pack during a multi-stacked tribute medley. However, Fantasia made said feat look like child’s play during her slot in Babyface‘s Soul Train 2015 honor.
Taking on Karyn White‘s 1988 hit ‘Superwoman,’ the 32-year old rocked the house like no other before or after.
In two minutes, she delivered dynamite that not only blew the roof off the building, but also had some wondering whether her rendition was better than the original.
4) When I See U (AOL Sessions)
As much as we enjoy when Fanny lets rip, we also delight in her more soulfully subdued offerings – such as this.
‘When I See U’ easily serves as one of her signature songs and, like ‘Billie Jean’ to Michael Jackson, is a staple that has been performed countless times over.
Yet, this smooth but funky effort for AOL Sessions serves as our most cherished.
The breakdown at the bridge was everything!
3) I’m Here (Oprah Winfrey Show / 2007)
The songbird’s turn as Celie in ‘The Color Purple’ on Broadway earned rave reviews. But, for us, it was her performance of the production’s signature song ‘I’m Here’ on ‘Oprah’ that deserving of the most accolades.
Soulful, simply sung, and laced with lyrics that pierce and inject hope, this showing is the sort of daily affirmation we all need.
2) Lose To Win (American Idol 2013)
Lifted from 2013’s ‘Side Effects Of You,’ this melodic number – while solid – isn’t even our favorite cut from Fantasia.
However, so stellar was her debut live offering of the track that it easily etched itself on our list of top TV performances – ever.
From the now trademark “this is my favorite part right here,” to the emphatic clap, to the controlled yet soaring vocal, this was a music masterclass.
Performing in front a panel comprised of a singer (Mariah Carey), rapper (Nicki Minaj), Country star (Keith Urban), and industry veteran (Randy Jackson), Tasia reminded that true talent can cut through boxes and boundaries to resonate with all.
1) Lady Marmalade (An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Patti LaBelle 09)
If ever a performance defined the essence of an artist, it’s Ms. Barrino’s seismic tribute to Patti Labelle.
Fittingly staged at ‘An Evening of Stars’ in 2009, Ms. Barrino belted ‘Lady Marmalade’ with vivacious vigour.
And when the stage couldn’t contain her explosion of energy, her pow wow with Patti in the audience proved even more compelling.
Their now infamous kiss was quite poetic; for, despite the generation gap, they are two acts whose gargantuan gifts tower over any chart placement or musical trend.
In many ways the smooch was a passing of the proverbial torch.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree?