We knew a little about her life story the first time we ever heard her sing. Long before we learned the details, laid out in her best-selling autobiography turned top-rated Lifetime movie Life is Not a Fairy Tale, we felt her pain and triumph in every note she sang. Whether it was the standards and pop songs that she rode to the winner's circle on the third season of American Idol or the self-crafted emotionally wrought modern R&B off her latest chart topping record Side Effects of You, North Carolina born singer is unable to produce a moment that isn't searingly honest. This becomes imminently clear in her concerts—the star of the Tony award winning The Color Purple and the current musical After Midnight prefers to think of them as "shows," because they have the emotional arc of a Broadway show. And it's a show with plenty of hits, from her inspirational smash debut "I Believe," to the hard-won straight-from-the-streets feminism of 2013's "Without Me." Fantasia has set herself apart by allowing her life experiences to inform her music in unique and surprising ways. That includes the pain for sure, but also her successes, be they on Broadway or touring internationally as either headliner or sharing the bill with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Put simply, Fantasia is the truth, and we are all witnesses.