She's known as the queen of hip-hop soul, whose album sales and concerts grossed more than $43 million back in 2008.

So why did a foundation that Mary J. Blige set up to empower women write checks that bounced after a star-studded benefit, lawyer Harvey Mars wants to know

"When I write a check, I usually make sure there is money in the bank, " Mars told PIX 11 News. "All these checks bounced. There was no money in the account."

Mars showed PIX11's Magee Hickey the bounced checks and contract for the May 3, 2011 benefit concert. He's now suing to get the $167,000 owed to the musicians more than a year ago.

In 2010, Mary J. Blige went on television to talk about the foundation she started, the foundation for the advancement of women now.

"I want to help women get an education, an education I didn't get," Blige said, adding that she sent 25 women to college.

Published reports say Blige's foundation also defaulted on a $250,000 bank loan. The musicians' lawyer won't speculate what's going on.

"I just want my musicians paid," Mars said.