How Fantasia Barrino Really Lost Her Fortune

Fantasia Barrino was just 19 years old when she won American Idol, immediately following it up with a number-one single and a debut album that went double platinum. She even was nominated for four Grammys. Just a few years later, she took to the Broadway stage as part of The Color Purple, which received rave reviews and standing ovations. However, as everything seemed to be going so well, rumors swirled that Barrino was in dire financial distress.

As Oprah notes, her second album didn't sell as well as her first and she almost lost her home. After taking on the responsibility of being the sole breadwinner for her family, including her siblings, mother, and eight-year-old daughter, Barrino found it incredibly difficult to juggle everything. She should've been on top of the world but the singer and actress soon found herself in a free fall.

Fantasia Barrino trusted the wrong people

As Barrino admitted, she thought winning American Idol was her ticket out of hardship. "I felt like change had come and the curse had been broken," she said. However, after taking on the financial strain for her family, and with several projects happening at once, Barrino put her trust in others to handle her finances and ultimately suffered for it. She knew something was very wrong when her card was declined while trying to pay for pizza.

Now Barrino realizes, "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." As a result of leaving her monetary affairs to others, Barrino's home was put up for auction. She subsequently missed several performances of The Color Purple, leading to more than half a million dollars in refunds. 

Fantasia Barrino gave away too much

Barrino takes responsibility for her mistakes, however, admitting, "I created that monster. When I began to give, give, give, everybody was like: 'Hey, this is the good life. I can sit back home.'" She adds that she's finally learned how to stay in control and to say no when there's too much on her plate.

The singer and actress confessed on the Tammi Mac Show that she essentially "lost everything twice" (via AJC). But now she understands the value of her own independence. "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," she explained. Thankfully, Barrino has learned her lesson.