Fantasia Barrino Opens Up About Surviving an Overdose: 'I Realized I Have the Spirit of an Eagle'

The star of 'The Color Purple' is among the cover stars of Variety's 'The Power of Women' issue

<p>Victoria Stevens for Variety</p> Fantasia for Variety

Victoria Stevens for Variety

Fantasia for Variety

Fantasia Barrino feels more at peace today than ever.

The star of the upcoming movie-musical adaptation of The Color Purple, 39, opened up in one of the cover stories in Variety’s "The Power of Women" issue about surviving an overdose in 2010 and how she’s since realized her strength and “purpose.”

In the interview published on Monday, the R&B singer revealed that she “just wanted the noise to stop” when she overdosed on aspirin and a sleep aid thirteen years ago, referring to how she was supporting her family financially at the time and sued by her father in 2006 over how he was portrayed in her memoir.

Barrino told the outlet that now she is in a much different place. “I don’t care if it gets ugly again,” she said. “I don’t care if there’s storms. I realized I have the spirit of an eagle. They fly over storms.”

Related: Watch Fantasia Barrino and Brother Ricco Throw a House Party in the 'Let's Dance' Music Video (Exclusive)

<p>Victoria Stevens for Variety</p> Fantasia Barrino on the cover of 'Variety'

Victoria Stevens for Variety

Fantasia Barrino on the cover of 'Variety'

The American Idol winner said that it was not long after she was revived in the hospital that she found the strength to carry on. She explained that a nurse told her that she was “strong” and said, “Don’t you come back in here no more. You fight” — and that’s what she was inspired to do.

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

Related: Fantasia Barrino Gets Emotional as She Celebrates 39th Birthday with Oprah Winfrey and 'The Color Purple' Cast

The “Lose to Win” singer also said that her marriage to her husband of eight years, entrepreneur Kendall Taylor, has contributed to her happiness. “I’m so HAPPY — in all caps — and I never thought I would have that,” she said, while reportedly gesturing to her wedding ring.

The Broadway actress has spoken out about surviving an overdose in the past. Several weeks after she was hospitalized in Pineville, North Carolina in August 2010, an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music was released about the star and her experience.

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<p>Victoria Stevens for Variety</p> Fantasia Barrino for Variety

Victoria Stevens for Variety

Fantasia Barrino for Variety

“I didn’t have any fight in me. I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted out,” she said on the series. “At that moment, I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with.”

She added, “I just sat in the closet and looked at the mirror and took all the pills in the bottle. 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.”

The following year, the “I Believe” singer welcomed her son Dallas Xavier Barrino, 11, and in 2015 she and Taylor, 43, tied the knot. The star, who is also mother to 22-year-old Zion Quari, and Taylor also welcomed daughter Keziah Taylor together in May 2021.

Related: Oprah Winfrey Says 'Color Purple' Musical Will Leave Fans 'Feeling Full' in New Featurette (Exclusive)

The actress/singer will soon appear in the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Color Purple musical, which she previously starred in on Broadway and was produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Barrino is also in the midst of studying undergrad at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and opened up about going back to school to PEOPLE in the spring.

"I'm a businesswoman now and I desire to continue to sharpen my sword and better my craft," she said. "I want to break generational curses. When it comes to my family, my girls, my children, I want to show them that no matter what she's been through, you can always get back and go after it again, and that's what I am doing."

She added, "I want to be the example, I want to use my platform, my social media, to show people — men, women, Black, white, young, old — that if you have a dream, it doesn't have to have a timeline. It doesn't have to look a certain way and, in fact, looks better when it has a bunch of bruises and scars because that means you fought for it."

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