AOL: After everything you've been through, do you have more of an appreciation for your success now?
Fantasia: Yes, I do. The biggest thing is being so young, 26, and coming into the game at 19. A lot of those things that I went through could have sent [me] back home and saying, "I quit. I can't deal with this." But I dealt with it and I overcame all those things. It made me such a strong woman -- tough cookie, that's what my grandmother says. I can appreciate artists more because I know what they go through. I know how hard it is to have everybody pulling at you: everybody wants, everybody needs, you've changed, you're not the same. It's just hard. Now, when I listen to music, when I listen to albums, it's not just about the beat. I'm listening to what they're saying, to how they're saying it. I feel the passion, I feel the hurt, I feel the happiness. I feel all of that because now I can say, "Oh my God, I've been there, I've done that." I have to always use this performance for an example, of Chris Brown at the BET awards. When he had his moment, I felt him all the way. I cried with him because I was saying, "Man, as an artist, I know that he's passionate and he's coming from somewhere deep down on the inside."
-- Steve Baltin