Fantasia (Courtesy photo)

Fantasia has achieved a well-deserved reputation for her ability to infuse genres like R&B, country, pop and gospel within her performance, punctuating her unique style of singing — which undoubtedly attribute to her rise as one of the industry’s most accomplished, talented and sought-after vocalists.

And as her fans know, she’s never satisfied to simply rest on her laurels, as she continues to be one of those entertainers who’s anxious, willing and able to take on new challenges in efforts to broaden her ever-expanding songbook.

But if you have any doubts, just check out “Baby Patti LaBelle” when she takes to the stage on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Anthem here in the District where she’ll showcase music from her new CD, “Celebrating After Midnight” — her first collection of holiday music which comes just in time for the annual observance of the Christmas season.

She promises to take her audience down memory lane with the long list of her hits that have endeared her to music lovers across the globe but she’ll also perform tunes from her new CD as well as a few other surprises that she’s been secretly working on in the studio — songs which she believes are “the kind of music and sound that need to be kept alive — songs for which people are hungry and itching.”

“People haven’t heard the kind of music I’ll be performing in a great while because music has changed so much,” Fantasia said. “I wanted to bring people back to where music started, when it’s foundation was rooted in love. We need more of that kind of music — the kind of music that will make men want to court women again. The kind of music that will make couples sit by the fireplace.”

Fantasia hit the road earlier this month with Durham as her first stop. She’ll continue through late February, ending her tour in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In an interview with The Washington Informer earlier this year, she talked about the music that she’s now working on, what she hopes to accomplish and what fans can expect on this tour.

“When I first got started on my latest project and went into the studio, I was kind of afraid,” she said. “But the more we fine-tuned the songs, the more the music began to happen. Suddenly, I realized that everything was great, that I was good. As I continued to sing, it was like a breath of fresh air had come over me. The music, the band, the arrangements — it was all perfect — it all fit.”

“I’m going to bring together the sounds of James Brown, Tina Turner and Prince because they’ve each been so inspirational in my life,” she said. “Music should make you feel alive — it’s ‘rock soul’ and yes, it’s going to rock.”

In preparation for her current tour, she remixed several classic Christmas tunes, putting her stamp on them and as she says, “making them my own.”

“That’s the fun part of it — taking songs that are familiar and changing them, revising them so that they speak in ways with which I’m more comfortable. I’ve waited a long time to put together a holiday recording and I want it to be around forever. But it has to be a collection that shares my message to the world. It has to be my statement. It has to be … me,” she said.

Fantasia promises to take her audience down a path that will include several musical styles — from jazz, funk, R&B and pop to even the old school “chitterling circuit style.”

“I’ve got some Nat King Cole for you — but I’ve also got a little bit of ‘The Godfather of Soul’ too,” she said.

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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