The new idol

The new idol

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Fantasia Barrino, the new winner of the ‘American Idol’ reality television show, says her greatest desire now is to simply get a good night’s sleep. After the adrenaline rush of the show and the media blitz after her big win, Barrino said Friday she needs a little rest. Once that’s out of the way, the 19-year-old plans to hit the studio to record her first single, "I Believe," and start working on her debut album. "It’s gonna be hot," she promised in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. Barrino said she hopes her first album will showcase all types of music and is looking forward to writing some of her own material. "I always said I have a story to tell, and now I can do it through my music," Barrino said.

That story includes coping with teenage motherhood and learning to provide for her 2-year-old daughter, Zion. After winning the "Idol" title on America’s live national television Wednesday, Barrino made brief appearances at post-finale parties, but said she was soon back on "mommy duty," and watched ‘Shrek’ with her daughter. Barrino also said she doesn’t speak much with Zion’s father: "I don’t bother him, and he doesn’t bother me." And just how did Barrino resist the standard "Idol" makeover, like the ones underwent by last year’s finalists, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard? "I just always tried to be myself," she said. Barrino will go on the road with the 11 other finalists for ‘American Idol Live’, starting July 14 in Salt Lake City. —AP

Aaliyah’s company can sue

NEW YORK: A record company partly owned by the late singer Aaliyah can sue the video producer that arranged transportation aboard the airplane that crashed in the Bahamas in 2001, killing her and eight others, a judge has ruled. State Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead found that Aaliyah, 22, whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, was an "asset" rather than an "employee" of Blackground Records, and therefore Blackground had a right to sue for damages because of her death.

Blackground, 10 per cent owned by Aaliyah, sued Instinct Productions in November 2003. Instinct produced the video that Aaliyah had filmed in the Bahamas just before the fatal crash. Instinct had also arranged the transportation. Instinct tried to have the negligence suit dismissed on the grounds that the award-winning rhythm and blues songstress was an employee of Blackground, and therefore the company had no right to sue. — AP