Fantasia Barrino has had a wild ride. She won the third season of American Idol in 2004, defying the odds as a single mother. Despite that major win, Barrino has had a tragic life in many ways. When Barrino published her memoir, Fantasia: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale in 2005, her father sued her for writing, quote, “false, exaggerated, sensational, intentional and malicious untruths,” according to court papers.
Even after a familial lawsuit, circumstances continued to be tough for Barrino; the singer survived an overdose in August 2010. Thankfully, she was found by her manager and used the tragedy to look at her life in a new way.
This wasn’t the end of her struggles. The singer actually lost all of her money, twice. In an interview with RadioFree KJLH in June 2019, Barrino spoke about her remarkable journey and her financial situation. Host Tammi Mac said,
“Yeah, but you have more money than we have, Fantasia.”
But Barrino shut that down quickly, saying,
“You don’t know that…I lost everything twice.”
Things started to go badly for Barrino in 2008, when she was, quote, “accused of defaulting on a $58,000 loan from [a] Florida-based company,” according to The Huffington Post. She reportedly lost her $1.3 million North Carolina mansion in 2013. Barrino put the house on the market in 2012 at a listing price of $800,000. However, she didn’t get any bites and ended up transferring the deed over to the bank.
Barrino joined the Broadway cast of The Color Purple in 2007. But Barrino admitted on Oprah that the production turned out to be too much at once. She was juggling musical achievements, tours, a book, and a movie about her life, on top of the Broadway gig. The stress reportedly took a toll on Barrino’s wellbeing, she gained about 30 pounds and missed so many performances that the show had to refund more than half a million dollars.
Barrino explained that her financial struggles began because she started taking care of everyone in her family after winning American Idol. She also learned that not everyone is trustworthy and honest, saying,
“I was young, fresh in the game, and I just wanted to sing, without really understanding that you still have to watch after everything that you have going for you.”
The worst moment came when Barrino was paying for pizza and her card was rejected. She explained,
“At that point I knew that I had been mishandled. Because there should have been no way that there wasn’t any pizza money.”
Fortunately, Barrino has learned from these hardships and is climbing out of the financial mess. Looking back on this dark time, Barrino said,
“You have to take care of your money. You have to meet with your lawyers and look over your schedule and figure out what it is that you have going on…People could just be running you and using you and abusing your gift.”
Although Barrino has amassed an estimated $3 million, the singer’s journey was not traveled alone. More than financial assistance, Barrino needed someone to turn to for moral support. That friend was filmmaker Tyler Perry.
Perry helped Barrino better understand her financial challenges when she needed someone trustworthy who had only her best interests at heart. Barrino explained to The Tammi Mac Show,
“You look around and you could be working for 10 years, you’ve got all these people on your team, you’re paying this person, that person, and you look up, and you don’t have no money in the bank because you’ve given it to everybody else.”
Barrino also told the Chicago Tribune,
“I’ve got to get out here to be present with people and [show] them love and how you can fall down but get back up.”
Perry’s kindness clearly inspired Barrino to share her good fortune and pay it forward. Watch the video to learn How Fantasia Barrino Lost All Of Her Money.
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