Here's How Much Fantasia Barrino Is Really Worth

Fantasia Barrino has been through a lot in her life. However, after years of struggling and making moves to rise in her career, she has earned her prestigious place in the music industry. As fans may know, Barrino stepped into the spotlight in 2004, when she won the third season of American Idol – and its $1 million prize. Barrino was just 19 years old when she won the singing competition, making her the youngest Idol winner at the time.

Fresh off the success of the competition, Barrino released her debut album, Free Yourself, in November 2014. The album sold 240,000 units in its first week and reached No. 8 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, per Reality TV World. It was certified Platinum by the RIAA and earned Barrino three Grammy nominations in 2006, per the BBC. A string of singles and hit albums followed, separating her from her reality show beginnings and establishing her right at home in Hollywood. The artist's song "Bittersweet," from her album Back to Me, won a Grammy for best female R&B vocal performance in 2010.

But fame and fortune don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, and Barrino has gained and lost nearly everything — twice. Let's find out how much Fantasia is really worth, and how the singer discovered that her true worth is deeper than dollar signs.  

Fantasia Barrino says her highs and lows were all 'necessary'

Born and raised in High Point, N.C., Fantasia Barrino has collaborated with various popular artists throughout her career. The singer released her fourth album, Side Effects of You, in April 2013, on which Big K.R.I.T., Kelly Rowland, and Missy Elliott made guest appearances. In 2016, she co-headlined a tour with Anthony Hamilton. Later that year, she released The Definition Of..., her fourth top ten album (via All Music). 

Apart from making it big with her music, Barrino has also tried her hand at acting — both on camera and on stage! The star made a cameo on the television show American Dreams, playing the role of her idol, Aretha Franklin. She also landed a guest spot in The Simpsons, and even starred as Celie in the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple

In 2006, she wrote an autobiography titled Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, which was turned into a Lifetime movie in which she starred. That project was one of the ways Barrino bounced back from some deep personal struggles. "It's been a massive journey of so many great and bad things, but all necessary," she told the Chicago Tribune

Fantasia's wake-up call came in the form of a pizza

Despite Fantasia Barrino's success and skyrocketing fame post-Idol win, it was far from the cure-all the star expected. Though her first album was both a critical and commercial success, her second album, Fantasia, released in 2006, failed to match the success of her first. (To be fair, the album did reach RIAA gold status and receive three Grammy nominations.) In addition to the pressure to do better, the star also dealt with a tempestuous 2007 Broadway run as Celie in the musical The Color Purple and grappled with the detection of two benign tumors on her vocal cords. Suddenly, Barrino was left wondering if her career was over for good.

Making matters worse: She was also the sole breadwinner for not only her daughter but for six other unemployed adults who lived in her home, according to Oprah. The stress of dwindling finances hit a breaking point was night — in the form of a takeout order. "The pizza lady says, 'Well, the card declined,'" Barrino recalled (via Oprah). "At that point I knew that I had been mishandled. Because there should have been no way that there wasn't any pizza money."

By 2013, amid a mountain of legal problems, she lost her home in North Carolina due to her financial woes.

Tyler Perry helped Fantasia Barrino rebuild

After coming to terms with some hard truths, Fantasia Barrino resolved to fight her way out of the financial wreckage. 

"I couldn't go to anybody else in my home and ask them for anything because I had been doing everything," Barrino recalled in her Oprah interview. "When I won [American Idol], I just wanted to see all of my family happy. And I created that monster." 

After cutting off financial access to family and friends that had using her new-found wealth — all of which was captured on film for the singer's VH1 reality show Fantasia for Real – Barrino began to rebuild her career (and her bankroll). She found emotional support in those closest to her, including industry polymath Tyler Perry. "He would call and check up on me," she told radio host Tammi Mac. "He was one of the ones, when I lost everything, he came and blessed me. And I thank him for that."

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barrino is now worth an estimated $3 million, but in her 2019 interview with Mac, she cautioned that appearances can be deceiving. "I'm just now building myself back up," she said. "I lost everything twice. So, I cook my own food. I don't need no chef. I'm from North Carolina; my grandma and my mama taught me how to cook." She said she drivers her own car, does her own shopping. "I'm just like you," she said.

Fantasia Barrino is ready to fulfill her destiny

In 2010, Barrino nearly lost her life after intentionally overdosing on pills. "I didn't have any fight in me. I didn't care about anything. I just wanted out," she told VH1's Behind the Music (via People). The singer said one of her nurses changed her life forever. 

"My nurse Melanie was a blessing into my life because she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear," she recalled. "She told me what I needed to hear. And she looked at me and said, 'You gotta get up, and you've gotta get out of here, 'cause you haven't fulfilled your destiny.'"

Today, Barrino appears to be in a happy and healthy place, personally and professionally. She's a mom to daughter Zion Quari Barrino and son Dallas Xavier Barrino and wed businessman Kendall Taylor in 2015 (She also famously married herself). "I've been through a lot and I've learned a lot," she told CNN in 2019. "I believe that that was necessary and on purpose for me to be able to be the woman I am today and run a business."

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.