Fantasia Celebrates 39th Birthday at Essence Fest

  • PublishedJuly 3, 2023

Oprah and the Cast of ‘The Color Purple’ Give Fantasia an Incredible Surprise on Her 39th Birthday at Essence Fest.

During Essence Fest 2023, on June 30, Fantasia, the talented American Idol winner, turned 39. On this momentous occasion, she found herself in the midst of promoting the highly-anticipated musical remake of ‘The Color Purple,’ in which she plays the lead role, Celie. The castmates Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, and the film’s executive producer, Oprah, decided to make her birthday extra special with a heartwarming tribute.

As the celebration unfolded, Danielle Brooks held the birthday cake, while the entire crew gathered around Fantasia and sang a festive rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.” Emotions ran high as Fantasia fought back tears of joy.

With excitement, Taraji P. Henson exclaimed, “We love you so much. Our Celie, y’all!” Oprah shared the touching moment on social media with the caption, “@tasiasword, our Celie in the new @thecolorpurple, turned 39 today—so we had to celebrate it while part of the Purple family is at @essencefest.”

This heartwarming event exemplified the strong sisterhood that was evident in the critically-acclaimed film. Fantasia, who had previously played Celie in the Broadway adaptation from 2007 to 2008, will now reprise her role in this highly-anticipated remake. Taraji P. Henson takes on the role of Shug Avery, while Danielle Brooks shines as Sophia, carrying on the legacy from Oprah’s portrayal.

Back in February 2022, when the cast was announced, Oprah expressed her excitement to pass the baton to Fantasia, saying, “I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35, almost 40, years ago to you. And I know you’re gonna kill it. I wanted to be the one to tell you because you know I have such love for her, this character, everything she represents and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you.”

This highly-anticipated musical rendition of ‘The Color Purple’ also features talented actors such as Halle Bailey, Jon Batiste, Colman Domingo, and H.E.R. It is set to make its theatrical debut on Christmas 2023, promising an unforgettable and moving experience for audiences.

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