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Triangle Downtowner Magazine

A Fantasia Christmas

Dec 07, 2017 11:51AM ● By Lamarr Fowlkes

The holiday season continued at the Durham Performing Arts Center with the 2nd show of the month of December featuring a Christmas show by former American Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino. Opening act Demetria McKinney, most recently known for her role as late singer Whitney Houston in the movie “Bobbi Kristina”, paid tribute to her idol with a cover of her single “I’m Every Woman.” McKinney did a solid job warming up the audience with renditions of common R&B staples “Can’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan, “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige, and “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce. The crowd participated in an acapella version of “If Only You Knew” by past/future DPAC performer Patti LaBelle as she her set concluded with two original songs from her album, “Officially Yours.”

Roughly 10 minutes later, Fantasia entered the simple, but elegantly decorated stage of several lit, variously sized Christmas trees. Dressed in all white and accompanied by her live band in the background, the High Point, NC native presented a mix of jazz/blues infused songs and a few of her most popular R&B hits. Interwoven into the performance were traditional holiday classics as well as stories of spending memorable Christmases with her family.

Switching stances from preaching to partying on stage, Fantasia attached her unique spirit as the big screens captured the emotional, lip-quivering vocals spilling into the microphone. The narrative in her song selection truly reflected times that all families can relate to throughout the holiday season as we balance between sacred and secular themes. This was also reflected in the diverse crowd, which was highlighted as she openly acknowledged members of the Caucasian populace who were grooving right along with her. In the tradition of her roots growing up in a African-American church environment, Fantasia led the entire room in a gospel choir-style sectional sing along at the close of the show.