Following her victory, she released her debut single, "I Believe," which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.Subsequently, she released her debut album, Free Yourself, which went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA and earned Fantasia three Grammy nominations in 2006.Feeling embarrassed and harassed after she was raped by a classmate, Taylor's show was a heartfelt staging of the Porgy and Bess standard "Summertime" that left her in tears from "feeling the song" and earned praise from the judges and was named amongst the AOL's 2004 list of greatest television moments.For the final performance of the season, Taylor offered a second performance of "Summertime" that again drew praise from the judges; Simon Cowell remarked that she was the best contestant to ever compete in any competition, including the more than seventy Idol champions crowned nationally and internationally since the show began its first global incarnations.Taylor was named the number-one artist of the Adult Urban Contemporary format for 2005 according to the December 13, 2005 issue of Billboard magazine.
On the sales chart, the single spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one, giving it the longest consecutive stay on top of that chart for an American Idol contestant.
Moreover, she has received rave reviews in the media for the performance.
Fantasia Taylor was born Fantasia Barrino to Diane and Joseph Barrino and raised in High Point, North Carolina. Taylor cites Aretha Franklin, Patti La Belle and Tina Turner as her biggest musical influences. R&B duo K-Ci & Jo Jo, formerly of Jodeci, are her first cousins.
On the finale, over 65 million votes were cast in order to determine the winner on May 26, 2004, up from 24 million in 2003. tour with the other American Idol finalists and appeared in the 2004 Christmas special, Kelly, Ruben and Fantasia: Home For the Holidays as well.
At age 19, she was the youngest American Idol winner until May 23, 2007, when then 17-year-old Jordin Sparks won the title. Taylor's brother auditioned for the eighth season of American idol but failed to make it to the Hollywood round.