Apr. 09, 2007 | 06:00 AM EDT

Fantasia Says She's Not Illiterate

Fantasia Barrino Photo by: Arnold Turner / WireImage
Idol's Fantasia: I'm Not Illiterate | Fantasia Barrino
As season-three winner Fantasia Barrino gets ready to make her Broadway debut in The Color Purple on Tuesday, she wanted to set the record straight about her tough past. She tells the New York Post that she was never, in fact, 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. But the $6 million-dollar-woman isn't nervous about living up to the hype: "I just want everyone to know that I have worked my butt off."