Toni, Toni, Toni. If the R&B singer thought Oprah was harsh on her back in 1998 when she questioned her about having Gucci flatware, I’m curious how she feels about the outcome of her recent 20/20 interview in which she was basically asked to rehash every money woe she’s ever had in her life. Everybody knows Toni has been on the financial struggle bus since the ’90s, having filed for bankruptcy twice since making it big. Though she already recently revealed the source behind those filings on her VH1 Behind the Music special — shady business deals and sickness– Toni has pretty much neglected to take any personal responsibility for her mishandling of funds. But in her 20/20 chat, she sort of did just that.
When asked how it was possible for someone who sold 50 million albums to go flat broke, she said:
“I love dishes and house things so I kind of lost it a little bit on the house ware. That kind of stuff, the girly things that’s what I indulged in – 1,000-thread-count sheets.”
Unfortunately for her, all of that stopped when out of $170 million in album sales she took home less than $2,000 — $1,972 to be exact. Most people are more concerned with how that happened, as opposed to her having to file for bankruptcy, and Toni explained:
“What happens is they will give you an advance million on the next record and the next record so you kind of stay in debt in a sense.”
It’s not hard for people to wrap their heads around the shadiness of the record industry, but what most do have trouble understanding is how the singer ended up in debt to the tune of $50 million a second time. A lot of fans know that the singer being diagnosed with lupus and a heart condition caused her to cancel her Vegas shows, and that she was subsequently sued by all of the vendors for the cash they missed out on. But when the reporter brought up $15,000 debts to Tiffanys in the last filings, I’m sure some wondered whether Toni actually learned her lesson the first time around. All she had to say was:
“Some of the things you read aren’t true because I heard I owed BMW too and I don’t own a BMW.”
She does own a rather extravagant LA home, though. The type that makes you wonder, is this the fruits of no labor? But the truth is Toni has now gotten into the private global concert sector and claims the “money is yummy” but now she keeps her checks properly balanced.
“I have to monitor myself, she said, “because I am definitely on a budget.”
Let’s hope so.
Check out Toni’s #20/20Confessions special on the next page. Do you think her financial situation is really in order now?