There is sometimes a downside to fame and fortune. For the legendary Mary J. Blige, her success became tied to a debt worth “hundreds of millions of dollars,” per Insider.

It was reported by TMZ in 2013 that the IRS had filed a tax lien against Blige over a three-year period, due to not receiving $3.4 million in income taxes for 2009, 2010 and 2011. The R&B singer also owned the state of New Jersey almost $1 million in taxes and was sued for allegedly defaulting on two bank loans that amounted to over $2 million.

Per Bossip, the IRS circled back in 2019 with a new claim that she owed $1.2 million in back taxes from 2016 and 2017.

“I owed so much money I never thought I’d ever get out of debt,” Blige told Insider.

It is with age that comes wisdom. Through that, Blige is no longer in debt because she pays closer attention to payroll and doesn’t touch the money that is set aside for taxes.

“I’m out of debt,” she explained to Insider. “Now I have the wisdom, now I look at my payroll… that’s not my money. My taxes are not my money, so I’m like, ‘Pay my payroll, pay my taxes, pay my tithes.’ All of that money, I don’t even wanna see it because it doesn’t belong to me.”

The outlet also mentioned her financial troubles stemmed from her divorce from Martin “Kendu” Isaacs. The Grio reports Blige paid Isaacs $30,000 per month in temporary spousal support between 2016 and 2018.

“That moment was when I got a divorce and got hit with all of that alimony,” Blige told AfroTech in a previous interview. “I was like, ‘OK.’ I never realized that this could happen to me in that way, and I was like at the bottom… I had nothing when I left out of that marriage and I had to work. I had my name, you know, so I had to work and so I did. I went on tour, I had to do everything to make that money to pay out the alimony.”

She continued, “I realized that I put my life in someone else’s hands that wouldn’t take care of me. Now, I’m all over my business. I’m all over my finances.”