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 No. 1 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 cast 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 notes, her second album didn't sell as well as her first, and she almost lost her home as a result. After taking on the responsibility of being the sole breadwinner for her family, including her siblings, mother, and 8-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 (via 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

Fantasia Barrino takes responsibility for her mistakes, however, telling, "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. Unfortunately, she learned her lesson at the cost of her livelihood, and her professional reputation. 

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. 

Fantasia Barrino's real estate investments didn't pay off

The "American Idol" alum took a real hit when it came to her real estate portfolio, with TMZ initially reporting in 2009 that Barrino defaulted on a $58,000 loan from Broward Energy Partners, on her $1.1 million North Carolina mansion, after borrowing money to pay back taxes. The house was put up for auction as a result. The reality competition winner struck a deal but, just a few years later, the TMZ confirmed her home had been listed at $800,000 — almost $500,000 less than what Barrino originally paid for it. Sadly, the house didn't sell, leading the Broadway star to finally sign it over to the bank (via TMZ). 

The deed was transferred in 2013, which at least meant Barrino didn't have to relive the foreclosure process again. However, as Realtor reported in 2018, the former reality star's issues continued when she listed another North Carolina mansion, this one located in Charlotte, at a massive loss. Originally purchased in 2004 for $740,000, the four-bedroom property was listed at $500,000 before the price was dropped to $479,000 just a few days later. Reportedly, "extensive renovation" was required.

Fantasia Barrino is incredibly grateful for Tyler Perry's support

When Barrino was at her lowest, she turned to none other than super producer Tyler Perry for support. As the "American Idol" alum revealed during an appearance on "The Tammi Mac Show," the two are super close friends. The "Madea" creator was there for her when nobody else was, in fact. "He would call and check up on me. He was one of the ones, when I lost everything, he came and blessed me. And I thank him for that," Barrino gushed (via AJC).

The singer-songwriter was quick to note that she's just a normal woman who happens to be famous and doesn't necessarily have it all worked out as a result. "I'm just like you, sis. I'm just like you," Barrino told Mac firmly. Now, hopefully, on the other side, she hopes to inspire others to keep fighting for what they want, telling Billboard, "Everything in life is a fight. Everybody wants this microwavable life, and it doesn't work like that. I'm here to say, 'See what I went through? Look at me now'."