Taxes can be intimidating enough for the average Joe, but in 2016, they became a nightmare for Mary J. Blige. At the time, the R&B diva was told by the Internal Revenue Service that she owed $1,198,161 in back taxes. While she certainly has made money over the years thanks to her various talents, her tumultuous divorce from Martin “Kendu” Isaacs that same year came as a result of him haphazardly spending her income, eventually inspiring her to write the song “Rent Money” from her most recent Good Morning Gorgeous album.
“I owed so much money I never thought I’d ever get out of debt,” Blige reflected during a panel at her second annual Strength Of A Woman festival this past weekend in Atlanta. “I’m out of debt now, but I mean I owed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. 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 ties, all of that money I don’t even wanna see it because it doesn’t belong to me,” the legendary lyricist continued.
Mary J. Blige Gets Candid About Money Struggles
According to Blige, no one in her camp was listening to her at the time. “When I was married I was like, ‘Pay my taxes, pay my ties,’ but they didn’t listen to me. He was in control of everything,” she noted of Isaacs. The singer has previously spoken candidly about their separation, which ultimately forced her to head out on tour again as she had no money to pay for the alimony from her divorce.
“By the time I got to the deposition and saw everything that he did, I didn’t have a dollar left. He spent everything, and he knew he spent everything but he was still asking me for more money,” she told The Breakfast Club in 2022. Read the advice that Mary J. Blige would give to her younger self now that she knows better at the link below, and make sure to check back later for more hip-hop/pop culture news updates.