If you believe that every celebrity has chefs and chauffeurs and private trainers and all of the other trappings often associated with stardom, Fantasia wants you to know you’re wrong.
Earlier this week, while visiting The Tammi Mac Show in L.A. following the BET Awards, the 34-year-old singer was asked to spill the tea about how she got into such great shape. She said she works out and eats well, which isn’t easy.
The assumption by the host was that it’s easier for her to eat consistently well because she has access to chefs and money for helping hands in comparison to what everyday people can do and afford. Fantasia quickly let her know that’s not the case. She emphatically stated that she is just like “regular people,” and outside of the industry events, she takes care of everything for herself because she’s known what it’s like to find yourself at the bottom financially:
Tammi Mac: Do you think it’s easier to do that, and I’m asking this for people who are like us, regular people, do you think it’s easier, being a celebrity having access to chefs and cooks and money to be able to buy the things you need?
Fantasia: No, ’cause I’m regular. I don’t like the whole celebrity thing.
Tammi Mac: Yeah, but you have more money than we have, Fantasia.
Fantasia: You don’t know that. A lot of artists that you see, they look like they have it and we smile and we come out and we put on a good show, but in real life some of them are struggling and we don’t have it. I’m just now building myself back up. I lost everything twice. So, I cook my own food. I don’t need no chef, I’m from North Carolina, my grandma and my mama taught me how to cook. I cook my own food, I don’t have a chef. I go get my own groceries. I don’t have a driver, I drive my own car. That’s fake. I don’t want that life or else I quit. I don’t want it. It’s already a lot out here in the industry. I don’t want that life. I’m just like you, sis. I’m just like you. So no, I cook my own food. You’ve got to pay the trainers, but sometimes I get people to come in and just say, “Yo, we just want to work with you. Post me.” I’m like cool, but I also tell them, too, God gave you gifts and talent and you can’t always give it for free. So I bless them for blessing me. So I cook my own food, I think you can do it yourself, and yeah, it’s not that for me. And I don’t want it to be that for me. If I had the money to do it, I still wouldn’t do it.
These days, the money Fantasia does have coming in isn’t doled out by a label boss or anyone else in control of her artistry. She is releasing her upcoming album, Enough, on her own, and said she’s finally at a place where “nobody can prostitute the gift anymore.” She spoke on Tyler Perry’s speech at the BET Awards and the importance of owning your own stuff and doing for yourself to further drive home the point of why she does for herself, and to say that the money people think stars have, they’ve truly depleted.
“Tyler Perry’s actually a good friend of mine. He would call and check up on me. He was one of the ones, when I lost everything, he came and blessed me. And I thank him for that,” she said. “Everything he said last night is true. You look around and you could be working for 10 years, you’ve got all these people on your team, you’re paying this person, that person, and you look up, and you don’t have no money in the bank because you’ve given it to everybody else. That’s what I said about prostituting your gift. You have a gift and you’re allowing everybody else to profit off of the gift. So I love what he said.”
This story was originally posted on madamenoire.com.