Fantasia Barrino had to answer to Uncle Sam and almost lost her home in the process.

As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the singer had vocalized her financial troubles that followed her “America Idol” win in 2004. She was sued by her father two years later and had difficulties with money management and understanding contracts.

“It wasn’t easy,” she told PEOPLE. “I lost a lot. I lost everything.”

Barrino’s circumstances almost even cost her the mansion she had been living in with her family in North Carolina, according to Forbes. She was served by the court for the first time due to owing $1 million in taxes, and her home could have been put up for auction as a result.

“I had a bunch of people on my team who said ‘hey we’re handling all the business,'” she shared during ForbesBLK Summit 2024. “I look up and I owe a million dollars in taxes. So, because of that my lawyer didn’t show up to court, and then they put my house up for auction.”

She continued, “I get a knock at the door, and that was the first time I had ever been served. I’m looking at him like ‘You want come in and get something to eat? Can I ask you some questions?’…I’m thinking what is the envelope, can we talk about it ’cause I ain’t never been served.”


Barrino thought she had only one option to resolve the situation — she had to perform at more shows until she could pay off her debt. Looking back, she admits that bankruptcy could have been a viable option, but she was uninformed about it back then.

“Nobody sat me down and was like, ‘Look this is what you can do.’ It was just either go to work or go to jail. That’s all I kept thinking, and I wasn’t ready for jail,” she explained to the outlet.

Today, Barrino is fairing well. She has a reported net worth of $500,000, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Most recently she ventured into the wine space and has earned a sommelier certificate, AFROTECH™ reported.

She is now surrounded by a more informed team educating her on how to create wealth.

“Keep some of your money. Do it the right way,” she expressed to Forbes. “I got somebody on my team right now that’s teaching me how to build wealth. I didn’t know nothing about a trust. I didn’t know you could hire your own chairman. I knew nothing about nothing, but now honey I get a kick out of it… You wanna talk to me, girl, teach me something so I can continue to build and open doors for other Black people so they can leave this world and die with a legacy, and not be broke or broken.”