This Is How Fantasia Barrino Lost All Of Her Money

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 this major win, Barrino has had a tragic life in many ways. When Barrino published her memoir, Fantasia: Life Is Not a Fairytale in 2005 with Simon & Schuster, her father sued her for writing "false, exaggerated, sensational, intentional and malicious untruths," according to CBS News.

Circumstances continued to be tough for Barrino. The singer survived an overdose in August 2010, according to ABC News. Thankfully, she was found by her manager and used the tragedy to look at her life in a new way. According to Billboard, Barrino said, "I was so busy trying to take care of everybody else, so busy looking for that love that I was ending up in all the wrong situations." She added, "I'm going to focus on Fantasia, and I needed to let God know because God knows what we need."

Shockingly, this wasn't even the end of her struggles. The singer actually lost all of her money... twice! Keep reading to find out how this happened, and how Barrino became an amazing example of resiliency.

Fantasia Barrino lost her fortune twice

In an interview with RadioFree KJLH in June 2019, Fantasia Barrino spoke about her remarkable journey and her financial situation. Host Tammi Mac joked with Barrino and said, "Yeah, but you have more money than we have, Fantasia."

Barrino shut that down. "You don't know that," she said., noting that a lot of celebrities look like they have money, but in real life they don't have much. Barrino added, "I lost everything twice."

Things started to go badly for Barrino in 2008, when she was "accused of defaulting on a $58,000 loan from Florida-based company, Broward Energy Management," according to The Huffington Post. This spiraled into a housing issue for the American Idol star. She reportedly lost her North Carolina mansion in 2013. She had purchased the 6,500-square-foot home in 2007 for $1.3 million. According to TMZ, 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 signing transferring "the deed over to the bank."

Fantasia Barrino struggled on Broadway

Fantasia Barrino joined the Broadway cast of The Color Purple as the character Celie in 2007. According to Oprah, Barrino initially received "rave reviews and standing ovations." She obviously had the talent to thrive in the theater world, but the production turned out to be too much at once. She was juggling "musical achievements, tours, a best-selling book and a movie about her life," plus the Broadway gig, Oprah reported.

Barrino has discussed this overwhelming stage of her life with remarkable openness. "I was on Broadway for a year. Toward the end, I kind of lost control. Everything was going down the drain," she said. According to Oprah, the American Idol alum had essentially signed on to star in a Broadway show — an enormous undertaking — without having even seen one before. She was a rookie with a lot on her plate. "It became an overload on me," she said. 

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, Oprah reported.

Fantasia Barrino couldn't even pay for pizza

Fantasia Barrino explained that her financial struggles began because she started taking care of everyone in her family. "When I won [American Idol], I just wanted to see all of my family happy. And I created that monster," the singer said, per Oprah. "When I began to give, give, give, everybody was like: 'Hey, this is the good life. I can sit back home.'"

Not only that, but Barrino also had to learn that not everyone is trustworthy and honest. "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," she said, via Oprah.

The worst moment came when Barrino was paying for pizza and her card was rejected. "At that point I knew that I had been mishandled. Because there should have been no way that there wasn't any pizza money," she said, per Oprah.

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."

Fantasia Barrino turned to Tyler Perry for support

Although Celebrity Net Worth estimates Fantasia Barrino has amassed $3 million, the "Bittersweet" singer's journey to solvency was not traveled alone. More than financial assistance, Barrino needed someone to turn to for moral support. "A lot of artists that you see, they look like they have it, and we smile and we come out and we put on a good show, but in real life some of them are struggling and we don't have it," Barrino told radio host Tammi Mac in 2019.

For Barrino, that friend was filmmaker Tyler Perry. "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," she recalled. Perry helped Barrino better understand her financial challenges when she needed someone trustworthy who had only her best interests at heart. "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."

As Barrino told the Chicago Tribune, she must now "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.