Catch Fantasia at the Paramount

This tour shows a more experimental side of the popular singer, with her breaking out of the R&B chrysalis with a blend of hard rock and melodious soul.


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Photo by Jyle Dupuis

Fantasia Monique Barrino-Taylor began singing as a child, but it was her emotional performances on American Idol that started her mainstream attention. At 19, Fantasia was then the youngest-ever winner. Not content to rest on her laurels, she parleyed her American Idol fame into a contract with J Records and a debut single, “I Believe,” which became the top selling U.S. single of 2004.

Fantasia is known for her distinctive voice, both sultry and soulful but also raw and throaty, projecting a depth of feeling that’s been compared to classic R&B divas like Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. Critics often pigeonhole her as an R&B singer, but Fantasia bristles against the label and considers her sound much more varied, drawing inspiration also from Cab Calloway, Queen, and Elton John.

Her latest album, Sketchbook, shows a more experimental side of the popular singer, breaking out of the R&B chrysalis with a blend of hard rock and melodious soul. Fantasia takes to the stage with special guests Robin Thicke and The Bonfyre to celebrate the release of the new album. Thu., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., $57-$127, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com.

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