Fantasia Barrino is proving again why she is an “American Idol,” as her fourth and newest album, “Side Effects of You” took the No. 2 slot on the Billboard 200 chart in the first week of May.

But even amid her professional triumph, the soulful singer suffered a personal defeat when she was forced to give up her five-bedroom North Carolina mansion.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, Barrino avoided foreclosure by signing over her house to a bank in February.

The singer has faced an ongoing battle with her home since 2008, when she was accused of defaulting on a $58,000 loan from Florida-based company Broward Energy Management. The 6,500-square-foot house, which was purchased for $1.3 million, was almost auctioned off in 2009 before the foreclosure was stopped at the last minute. And last April, she put the house up for sale at an asking price of $800,000—but no one bit.

In a 2010 CNN interview to promote her VH1 reality series, “Fantasia For Real,” the star addressed the foreclosure rumors, including talk that “Idol” creator Simon Cowell had bailed her out.

“The show will set the record straight: I am still in my house, it wasn’t a foreclosure and no, Simon Cowell did not help me pay any of my bills, though I thought that story was cute,” she said. “At the time I had a lot of different lawsuits, people just trying to come after me and for awhile I went without management. I did have a lawyer, but I guess, I don’t know if it was a money situation or the lawyer just had too much on his hands, I don’t know, but he wasn’t showing up for court.”

She later added, “The courts put both of my homes up for auction, so there was no foreclosure. It wasn’t that we weren’t paying the bills or didn’t have money. I guess when people heard I was doing “The Color Purple” they thought I had Color Purple/Oprah Winfrey money.”


Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO