November 23, 2004
Free Yourself (2004)
23 November 2004
Louis Biancaniello Craig Brockman Bryan-Michael Cox Clive Davis Jermaine Dupri Missy Elliott Sean Garrett Jazze Pha Darkchild Harold Lilly Ric Rude Soulshock & Karlin The Underdogs Sam Watters Nigel Wright
Grammy Award for Best R&B Album
Contemporary R&B, Soul music, Rhythm and blues
Fantasia Barrino albums, Contemporary R&B albums
Got me waiting by fantasia barrino
Free Yourself is the debut album by American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, which was released on November 23, 2004. The album was sold 240,000 units in its first week, and reached number eight on the United States Billboard 200 chart. The album is certified platinum in the United States and has been nominated for ten awards, three of which were Grammy Awards.
- Got me waiting by fantasia barrino
- Background and development
- Commercial performance
- Critical reception
Background and development
After winning American Idol, Fantasia signed to J Records with 19 Entertainment and began work on her debut album. The album was released on November 23, 2004. Its first single, "Truth Is," was released in December 2004. On June 29, 2004, her debut single "I Believe" was released and included as the closing track on Free Yourself. The album was recorded in 2003 and 2004, while Fantasia was a contestant on American Idol. She worked with various producers, including Louis Biancaniello, Craig Brockman, Bryan-Michael Cox, Clive Davis, Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliott, Sean Garrett, Jazze Pha, Darkchild, Harold Lilly, Ric Rude, Soulshock & Karlin, The Underdogs, Sam Watters and Nigel Wright.
In its first week of release, Free Yourself sold over 240,000 copies. It sold over one million copies in United States. It debuted at number eight on Billboard 200 album chart in US. It was certified Platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Free Yourself also peaked at US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
"Truth Is" and "Free Yourself" were number one singles on Hot Adult R&B Airplay Songs chart and top three hits on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The latter peaked at number forty-one on US Billboard Hot 100. "Baby Mama" peaked on number sixty on Billboard Hot 100 and number sixteen on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. "Truth Is" was the most successful single from Free Yourself, also peaking at number twenty-one on Billboard Hot 100. Two more singles were released from the album: "It's All Good" and "Ain't Gon' Beg You"
Free Yourself received mixed reviews. It got three out of five stars by both AllMusic.com and Rolling Stone magazine. It also received 2.5/5 stars by Slant Magazine. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said: "Free Yourself is looser and hipper than any previous American Idol album. Gone is Matthew Wilder, who contributed to Kelly's debut; gone are Neil Sedaka and Aldo Nova, who featured heavily on Clay's album. In their place are Missy Elliott, Jermaine Dupri and Rodney Jerkins, hip-hop hitmakers who give a good indication that this album is striving to seem fresh and hip, something that no other American Idol album has even attempted. Of course, the show-biz trappings haven't been completely abandoned -- Fantasia's showstopping rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime" has been revived, and it's been given an overwrought treatment that's slicker and more mannered than either of her performances of it on the show. And that reveals Fantasia's biggest weakness, which is part of the inherent flaw of American Idol: it rewards contestants who put on a show of being a great singer instead of actually being a great singer."
The album had a series of hit singles with "Truth Is", "Baby Mama" and "Free Yourself". "Truth Is" achieved a record stay at number on the Adult R&B Airplay chart for a female artist at fourteen weeks. "It's All Good" was a club hit reaching the top ten, and "Ain't Gonna Beg You" received radio airplay.
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