Free Yourself is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Fantasia, which was released on November 23, 2004. The album sold 240,000 units in its first week, reaching number eight on the Billboard 200 chart. The album is certified platinum in the United States and has been nominated for ten awards, including three Grammy Awards.
|Studio album by|
|Released||November 23, 2004|
|Singles from Free Yourself|
Background and developmentEdit
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.
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."
In its first week of release, Free Yourself sold over 240,000 copies. It has sold over one million copies in United States. It debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 album chart in US. It was certified Platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Free Yourself also peaked at number two on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
"Truth Is" and "Free Yourself" were number one singles on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay Songs chart and top three hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The latter peaked at number forty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. "Baby Mama" peaked on number sixty on the Billboard Hot 100 and number sixteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Truth Is" was the most successful single from Free Yourself, also peaking at number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100. Two more singles were released from the album: "It's All Good" and "Ain't Gon' Beg You".
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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.
- "Truth Is" was released as the lead single on December 7, 2004. It peaked at number twenty-one on Billboard Hot 100, number two on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number one on Adult R&B Airplay. It was the most successful single from the album.
- "It's All Good" was released as the second single on April 12, 2005 on iTunes Store and Amazon.com in an EP format (Dance Vault Mixes EP). It was a top ten club hit.
- "Baby Mama" was released on May 9, 2005 as the third single. It peaked at number sixty on Billboard Hot 100 and number sixteen on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
- "Free Yourself", the title track, was released on June 1, 2005 as the fourth single, peaking at number forty-one on Billboard Hot 100, number three on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number one on Adult R&B Airplay.
- "Ain't Gon' Beg You" was released on August 8, 2005 as the fifth and final single, receiving radio airplay.
|1.||"Ain't Gon' Beg You"||The Underdogs||4:14|
|2.||"Free Yourself" (featuring Missy Elliott)||4:18|
|3.||"Truth Is"||Soulshock & Karlin||3:55|
|4.||"Selfish (I Want You to Myself)" (featuring Missy Elliott)||3:24|
|7.||"Got Me Waiting"||3:51|
|8.||"It's All Good"||4:05|
|9.||"You Were Always on My Mind"||The Underdogs||3:43|
|11.||"Don't Act Right" (featuring Jazze Pha)||Jazze Pha||4:03|
|12.||"This Is Me"||3:33|
|14.||"It's All Good" (The Scumfrog Mixshow)||5:31|
- "Truth Is" contains a sample from "The Highways of My Life", performed by The Isley Brothers.
- "Selfish (I Want You to Myself)" contains a sample from "Dil Aaj Shair Hai", performed by Kishore Kumar.
- "Baby Mama" contains a sample from "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated at the Conference Table)", performed by The Chi-Lites.
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2004||Billboard Music Awards||Top Selling Single of the Year ("I Believe")||Won|
|Top Selling R&B/Hip-Hop Single of the Year ("I Believe")||Won|
|2005||Billboard American Urban Radio Networks||Top R&B/Hip-Hop Single ("I Believe")||Won|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Soul/R&B Album (Free Yourself)||Nominated|
|2006||Grammy Awards||Best Female R&B Vocal Performance ("Free Yourself")||Nominated|
|Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("Summertime")||Nominated|
|Best R&B Album ("Free Yourself")||Nominated|
|ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards||Most Performed Song ("Free Yourself")||Won|
|Most Performed Song ("Truth Is")||Won|
|Soul Train Music Award||Best Female R&B/Soul Album (Free Yourself)||Nominated|
- allmusic ((( Free Yourself > Credits )))
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Free Yourself – Fantasia". Rovi Corporation. Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- Rolling Stone review
- Cinquemani, Sal (2004-11-19). "Fantasia: Free Yourself". Slant Magazine. slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- "Fantasia Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
- "Fantasia Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
- "2005 Year-End Charts – Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "2005 Year-End Charts – Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "American album certifications – Fantasia – Free Yourself". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 26, 2020.