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    Fantasia Got Real About Surviving An Overdose In 2010 And How She Recovered

    “I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up.’”

    This post features discussion of substance abuse and suicidal ideation.

    The forthcoming film adaptation of the beloved The Color Purple musical is one of the most anticipated films of the holiday season.

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    The Color Purple is a musical adaptation of the 1982 novel from Alice Walker; Steven Spielberg also directed a film adaptation of the book in 1985.

    The film will include singer and former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino's silver screen debut as Celie Harris-Johnson.

    Fantasia onstage

    The role is a bit of a full-circle moment for Fantasia, who also starred as Celie during part of the show's Broadway run — from 2007 to 2008, specifically.

    Fantasia in "The Color Purple"

    In 2010, Fantasia was hospitalized after overdosing on sleeping pills and aspirin — and in a new interview with Variety in anticipation of the upcoming The Color Purple film, Fantasia opened up about what she was going through during that time in her life.

    Closeup of Fantasia

    Fantasia told the publication that the overdose took place after dealing with a variety of personal issues, including the pressures of financially supporting her family and a lawsuit from her father regarding her 2005 memoir Life Is Not a Fairy Tale.

    Closeup of Fantasia on the red carpet in a metallic dress

    "I just wanted the noise to stop," she said.

    Closeup of Fantasia

    Fantasia also said that, while being hospitalized, an interaction with a nurse who brought her magazine covers with her face on them helped her recover.

    Closeup of Fantasia

    "You see that young lady,” she recalled the nurse saying to her. “She’s strong. She’s a blessing. Don’t you come back in here no more. You fight.”

    Closeup of Fantasia at a media event

    “I left that hospital and said, ‘I’ll never do that again, because I have purpose,’” she told the publication about how she felt afterwards. “I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up.’”


    “I don’t care if it gets ugly again. I don’t care if there’s storms. I realized I have the spirit of an eagle. They fly over storms.”

    Fantasia onstage

    Read the entire profile here.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386.

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.