Fantasia Barrino: I Can Read

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As season-three winner Fantasia Barrino gets ready to make her Broadway debut in The Color Purple tomorrow, she wanted to set the record straight about her tough past.

She tells the New York Post that she was never illiterate.

"I dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and when I said I had trouble reading, they took it that I couldn't read at all," she says. "I knew the basics, but some words that were unfamiliar, I couldn't figure them out."

However, the "brand-new" Fantasia wants the world to know this: "I'm da bomb now, babe!"

Apparently, she is. Since Oprah handpicked Fantasia to play the lead of Celie in the Broadway musical, she's been racking up box-office ticket sales – to the sweet tune of $6.5 million.

ut the $6 million-dollar-American Idol champion isn't nervous about living up to the hype: "I just want everyone to know that I have worked my butt off."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.