Fantasia Barrino Brings the Bling to Broadway

Jennifer Hudson isn’t the only former “American Idol” contestant causing some commotion. News that Fantasia was joining the Broadway cast of “The Color Purple” has given the box office quite a bump, and she hasn’t even stepped on stage yet.

The whopping $6 million box-office bump didn’t come as a shock to producer Scott Sanders, who suggested the third-season “Idol” champ to Winfrey. The media queen loved the idea. “I wasn’t sure how immediate the response would be,” says Sanders. “But I was expecting that Fantasia was going to kick things up.”

“I think there is a groundswell of support from fans who know Fantasia’s personal history,” adds Sanders.

Like Celie, the character created by Alice Walker in her best-selling book, Fantasia has grappled with sexual abuse, illiteracy and being a single mom. She has a 5-year-old daughter.

Personally, I think that the Broadway stage is a perfect place for Fantasia. She’s a great performer.