Not many artists work on their debut album with producers on the level of Missy Elliott, Jermaine Dupri and Rodney Jerkins, but then again, being an “American Idol” has its privileges. For “Free Yourself,” due Nov. 23 via J Records/19 Recordings Ltd., “Idol” third season winner Fantasia recorded a mix of new and familiar songs with an impressive roster of music industry heavies.
“I want the songs I record to show different aspects of what I can do musically,” Fantasia says. “I feel like God has blessed me and now I just want to give something back.”
Elliott produced and co-wrote the album’s title track, “Good Lovin'” and “Selfish (I Want U 2 Myself)” and makes a guest appearance on the latter. The Underdogs also produced three cuts: “This Is Me,” “Ain’t Gon’ Beg You” and “You Were Always on My Mind,” the latter an adaptation of a song made famous by Willie Nelson.
Dupri produced “Got Me Waiting,” while Jazze Pha was tapped for “Don’t Act Right” and Jerkins was behind the boards for “It’s All Good.” Harold Lilly co-wrote and produced “Baby Mama.” Soulshock & Karlin produced the set’s first single, “Truth Is,” which was recently serviced to U.S. radio stations for airplay consideration.
“Free Yourself” will also include the single “I Believe,” released shortly after Fantasia won the third “Idol” competition in May. Co-written by former “American Idol” competitor Tamyra Gray, the track debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Fantasia’s rendition of the George and Ira Gershwin standard “Summertime,” which she performed more than once during the Fox television series, also made the cut for the album.
On Sunday (Nov. 14), Fantasia will play Aretha Franklin on a new episode of the NBC period drama “American Dreams.” The same night, she is also scheduled to make an appearance during American Music Awards, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on ABC.
Other upcoming appearances include a visit to ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a sit down with the network’s newsmagazine, “20/20,” a swing over to NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” CBS’ “Early Show” and stops on the syndicated shows “Ellen” and “Live with Regis & Kelly.”
Finally, Fantasia will join past “Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard on an “American Idol” holiday special airing Nov. 24 on Fox.