*Fantasia is back on top. The singer is feeling good about her latest release and says the love from her fans is enormous.

“It feels really good,” she said softly. “You have to be very careful because there was a time when I went from being up here and everybody loved you and then when (that) ole thing happened, it was like, ‘OK, everybody …’ – so it’s almost, like, tricky.”

Her reputation has been tattered with sore images, including an apparent attempt to commit suicide and having a child with a married man.

Among the more publicized issues, she also had her share of financial woes.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the singer relishes the new moments in her life, where the storm has finally calmed.

AP: You won “American Idol” at 18 and now you’re 28. Do you feel wiser?
Fantasia: I do. I think that me changing some things in my life and not really blaming everybody else anymore, actually sitting back and figuring out what it was that Fantasia was doing wrong, and then actually getting that together. Don’t get me wrong, there will be more things to come, I know that. But I think at this point I know how to handle things in a much (more) mature way. In a way, I don’t get it much in my mind, my mental, and let it send me into a depression, you know, ’cause there’s a lot of things you just cannot change.

AP: What’s your goal with your latest album (released in April), “Side Effects of You?”
Fantasia:: I wanted to just kind of show the world who I am when it comes to being an artist … just give them me, so I said I wasn’t going to do another album until I could do that. I remember it being kind of tough, kind of like a pull because everybody thinks they know what you should do or they want to go with what’s hot right now; somebody put out a hot single and everybody thinks you should do songs that sound like that. But I just said, ‘No. I know what I want.’

AP: You’re looking well. Have you been exercising?
Fantasia:: I work out twice a day. If I don’t get with (my trainer) twice a day, I’ll get with her in the mornings and then I’ll go do yoga, Pilates or spinning. I love to do spinning classes. So it’s like I have to make that time for me. That’s my getaway.

AP: Have you tried Zumba?
Fantasia:: I haven’t, but my mother keeps trying to get me to go. … My main focus for when I started working out was … to be an example for my cousins. I’d go back home and young people are on high blood pressure pills, and I think it’s the things we put in our body; it’s the food that we eat. We’re not watching what we do. I know a lot of people, I sit and I’m like, ‘I’ve never seen you drink water.’ … Water is so important, and I learned that by playing (on) Broadway. I’d always get dehydrated and have to be in the hospital with IVs getting fluids.