Fantasia Barrino Cries While Discussing Her Career Comeback (Exclusive)

The celebrated performer spoke with ET at the 55th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Fantasia Barrino is embracing her spotlight and has a lot of feelings about her incredible career resurgence in the wake of her performance in The Color Purple.

On Saturday, Barrino, 39, was honored at the 55th NAACP Image Awards with the award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role as Celie in The Color Purple.

Barrino spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier backstage after the honor, and the celebrated songstress and performer couldn't hold back her emotions as she talked about the respect and appreciation she's been showered with in recent months.

Barrino cried as she reflected on the award itself, saying, "Thank you, Celie!"

"Everything I put into it. [After] everything I've been through, it means a lot," Barrino said of the honor.

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Barrino's monumental comeback has been a major driving force for the entertainer, who first gained mainstream fame in 2004 when she won the third season of American Idol at age 19.

However, she faced a slew of personal struggles, including her home being foreclosed on, a 2010 hospitalization after overdosing on sleeping pills, among other controversies that led to her stepping back from public eye and showbusiness in general.

Her return to the spotlight has been triumphant -- largely due to her acclaimed performance in The Color Purple and high-profile performances. For Barrino, Saturday's NAACP Image Awards honor was more meaningful than simply getting praise.

"It's very important for every young woman to see that you will fall, we all fall, but it's about how you get up," Barrino said. "You can't stay down, and I didn't stay down."

"Some people look at me and they be like, 'Girl, how'd you come back?' And I tell them, 'It was all God, my grandmother and my mother. And all the women that come before me,'" Barrino continued. "I'm a Southern woman, so I watched a lot of women fall and get back up. So it means a lot to me to play that role and to live my own life."

Barrino added that the challenge of her comeback "was a lot -- but it was necessary."


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