Fantasia's highest hope for the fall has nothing to do with her opening slot on Kanye West's tour or her two nominations at the American Music Awards. She wants to read her 4-year-old daughter a book.
In her memoirs released Friday (September 30), "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale," the third-season "American Idol" winner admits that she can hardly read or write.
In the book, which Fantasia dictated to a freelance writer, the singer reveals that her mother is also functionally illiterate and that Fantasia was so ashamed of her own struggle it kept her from ever applying for a job. On "Idol," she learned lyrics by listening to the songs, not reading the sheet music, and since winning, she's signed contracts she couldn't read.
While working with the music directors, "Somebody would say, 'You know, it's pronounced this way,' and I'd be like, 'Oh, I'm sorry, you know, I'm country, you know,' " Fantasia tells "20/20" in an interview airing Friday night.
Fantasia is now working with a tutor and is sharing her story to inspire others who struggle with reading and writing.
In "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale," Fantasia also reveals she was raped as a freshman in high school and blamed herself because of the way she was dressed.
The book also details her poor childhood and how her faith in God was the only thing that kept her hopeful.
"Most people would rather flaunt their new clothes or their new bling-bling," she says in the book. "I always wonder why God is not worthy of praise and acknowledgment? Why are young people ashamed to show their faith? Take it from me — faith is really all you have."
To celebrate the book's release, Fantasia will be signing copies on Saturday at the Best Buy at 622 Broadway in New York.
On October 11, her tour with Kanye West and Common kicks off in Miami (see "Kanye Announces North American Tour Dates").
Before the trek wraps up in December, she'll take a trip to Los Angeles on November 22 for the American Music Awards, where she is nominated for Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album for Free Yourself (see "Fantasia Salutes Single Moms, Gets Beaten By Lisa Simpson").