The Truth About Fantasia Barrino's Overdose

When Fantasia Barrino won American Idol's third season, fans celebrated the 19-year-old single mother for pursuing her dreams in the face of adversity. Years later, however, Barrino's fairytale life almost came to an end when the "I Believe" singer overdosed on aspirin and a sleep aid, per TMZ. "I didn't have any fight in me. I didn't care about anything. I just wanted out," Barrino told VH1's Behind the Music in 2010 (via People). "At that moment, I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with — all of it, all of that [expletive]."

"I just sat in the closet and looked at the mirror and took all the pills in the bottle," Barrino added. "I wanted to go to sleep and just be at peace. I knew exactly what I was doing. You can't accidentally take a whole bottle of pills." Brian Dickens, Barrino's manager, ultimately found the singer on the floor in her room after she sent an ominous text message.

"Her emotions were extremely low. She'd been crying all day. Fantasia was just numb. Fantasia texted me, saying 'I love you.' I wrote back, 'I love you more.' Then it hit me," Dickens said. "I wrote, 'You better not do anything or think about doing anything stupid.' And I left it at that. About 10 minutes later, Fantasia texted me back, and she said, 'Already did.' I went into Fantasia's room and saw her on the floor, and my heart just dropped." 

What drove Fantasia Barrino to the brink?

Fantasia Barrino was 'tired' of people doing her wrong

Prior to the overdose, Fantasia Barrino found her name in the headlines when one North Carolina woman threatened to sue the American Idol winner for having an affair with her husband, Antwaun Cook, per People. Paula Cook called Barrino a "home-wrecker" and blamed the singer for the couple's divorce. With her name smeared across the news, Barrino wanted to escape. "I was tired of people doing me wrong, constantly, over and over again, dealing with my family — my father, dealing with men and their [expletive] — I was tired," she told VH1's Behind the Music (via People). "My head was hurting me. I was over it."

"When I met him, he was separated... wasn't living in his home. He didn't want to be back with his wife — that is what I was told," Barrino added. "I remember waking up in the hospital [and thinking], 'It didn't work, I'm still here in this hellhole. Still here with all this drama going on.'"

But Barrino's nurse ultimately helped her regain perspective. "My nurse Melanie was a blessing into my life because she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear," Barrino said. "She told me what I needed to hear. And she looked at me and said, 'You gotta get up, and you've gotta get out of here, 'cause you haven't fulfilled your destiny.'" 

Sometimes lifesaving treatment requires more than traditional medicine.

Fantasia Barrino 'married' herself as an act of self-love

Although Fantasia Barrino wed businessman Kendall Taylor in 2015, per E! News, the "I'm Doin' Me" singer married herself long before she met her spouse. "Before I met him I bought a ring and married myself," Barrino told Harry Connick, Jr. on his talk show in May 2017. "I married myself because I felt like before true love could come I needed to learn how to love myself again. And so, for me, I just forgot about myself."

According to Barrino, her innate tendency to care for others caused her to neglect her own wants and needs. Driven by a need for change, Barrino bought an expensive ring as a token of her commitment to herself. "I was getting all of my old relationships out of my system," she told Billboard in July 2016.

"I was so busy trying to take care of everybody else, so busy looking for that love that I was ending up in all the wrong situations, so I came here to do After Midnight, jazz... so that was a breath of fresh air for me, and so I said I'm going to marry myself," she explained to Connick Jr. 

She continued, expanding on her thought process,"I'm going to fast from all the things I used to do. I'm going to focus on Fantasia, and I needed to let God know because God knows what we need. He just wonders do we know what we need, and that was that time for me when I needed to figure out what I really needed."

Fantasia Barrino joined the Black Lives Matter movement to promote change from within

After her suicide attempt, Fantasia Barrino claims she was a "broken woman." But once she healed, the Grammy award-winner turned to the streets in an effort to aid the Black Lives Matter movement and give back to those at the mercy of a broken system. "You can't look over it like it's not ­happening," she told Billboard in July 2016. "I'm a mother, I'm a sister to three brothers, and I have a stepson in college. I wouldn't want to see anybody's child gunned down, no matter what color or race."

At the time, Barrino also explained that she planned to join her husband, Kendall Taylor, as he mentored young men imprisoned in Charlotte, N.C. as part of the MOVE program. The goal? To show the young men that "no ­matter what you've been through, you can change" — something Barrino herself proved firsthand. "Everything in life is a fight. Everybody wants this microwavable life, and it doesn't work like that. I'm here to say, 'See what I went through? Look at me now.'"

Barrino consistently recognizes her gifts and pays it forward by sharing her life lessons with those who need help most.

Fantasia Barrino wants to use her talent to connect with people who've been in her shoes

During her VH1 interview in 2010, Fantasia Barrino revealed (via People), "I realized how people end up in the grave. Because that one moment [snaps fingers] of just breaking or feeling like I can't, I can't go on, it's too heavy. That was somewhere I don't ever want to go again." Now, nearly a decade after her near-death experience, she's made it her mission to connect with those who've had similar experiences through the power of song.

"It's a different feeling now," Barrino told the Chicago Tribune in 2019 upon the release of "Sketchbook," her first independent album. "The way I sing it now, I know there's someone in the audience who may be going through that. I went through that! I had my process. I sing it loud and I sing it proud and I sing it with a meaning and I sing it with a feeling. I used to sing it in pain. I'm no longer in pain."

"It's been a massive journey of so many great and bad things, but all necessary," she added. "I've got to get out here to be present with people and showing them love and how you can fall down but get back up." What an inspirational woman!

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.