Kandi Burruss has enjoyed a successful career spanning decades, and it’s safe to say the business mogul is multitalented. Fans first met Kandi as a member of the popular 1990s R&B girl group Xscape, who debuted onto the music scene in 1993 with their hit single “Just Kickin’ It.” The song peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 100 chart and was the first of many successful singles.
Kandi (pictured above at 17) released a total of three studio albums with Xscape and went on to write many massive hits for a series of household-name artists. According to Kandi’s website, she has penned album tracks for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, NSYNC, and Alicia Keys. But that’s not all — she also wrote TLC’s iconic “No Scrubs,” Pink’s breakthrough smash “There You Go,” and Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.”
Talking of bills, it’s clear Kandi doesn’t have a problem paying any of hers. Let’s take a look back at how the star transformed herself into a household name.
Kandi Burruss took a big chance on herself
After a successful run in the 1990s with Xscape, Kandi Burruss decided to embark on a solo career in 2000 and released her debut album, Hey Kandi…, which featured her signature single, “Don’t Think I’m Not.” Two years later, she welcomed her first daughter, Riley Burruss. “I was trying to figure out how I was going to make my schedule work because I was still writing songs for a lot of people, staying late in the studio, and traveling a lot,” she wrote for Refinery29 about this time period. “I was trying to figure out how to better myself in a way that I could still maintain a career, but also be a good mother.
Fans had to wait nine more years until her next project, Fly Away EP, which was quickly followed up with her second studio album, Kandi Koated, in 2010. Around this time, Kandi (pictured above at 33-years-old) had been cast as a regular on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In an interview with Billboard in 2010, she talked about how the show influenced her solo career. “The show definitely helped as far as being in a position to do a solo album; it’s a big infomercial,” Kandi said. “Having not done an album in so long and wondering who’s going to be interested in what you’re doing can be discouraging. But you never know what’s going to fall into your lap.”
How Kandi Burruss leveraged her reality star fame
During season two of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi Burruss replaced DeShawn Snow and became a regular cast member of the hit show, per Digital Spy. Kandi’s popularity throughout the seasons allowed her to have a number of her own spin-off shows, which have allegedly had the most success in ratings and viewership, according to a February 2020 Cheat Sheet report.
In 2016, Kandi (pictured above at 40) opened up her restaurant, Old Lady Gang, with her husband Todd Tucker in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood of Atlanta. Since then, the business has continued to grow and can is in other parts of Atlanta, per Bustle. In February 2020, the Atlanta Journal-Consitution reported that Kandi is expected to have another spin-off show that will focus on the employees and owners of the restaurant.
In 2019, Kandi was a contestant on the second season of Celebrity Big Brother and made it to the final five house guests. The following year, she performed as Night Angel on Fox’s third season of The Masked Singer and became the show’s first-ever female winner. Talk about turning that reality fame into gold!
Kandi Burruss is rich in love, too
Kandi Burruss previously dated Russell “Block” Spencer of Block Entertainment after meeting at a car dealership in the late 1990s and gave birth to her oldest daughter, Riley Burruss, on Aug. 22, 2002. In January 2009, Kandi got engaged to AJ Jewell, but Kandi and Jewell didn’t work out, calling it a day that same year. A couple of months later, Jewell sadly died following an altercation outside of an Atlanta strip club, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kandi (pictured above 44-years-old) would eventually meet the man of her dreams — Todd Tucker — in 2011 when filming season 4 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta in South Africa. According to Oprah Mag, Tucker asked Kandi to marry her on Jan. 1, 2013. Their wedding, which took place on April 4, 2014, had its own spinoff special, Kandi’s Wedding, on Bravo.
Since tying the knot, the pair have had two children together. Kandi and Tucker welcomed their son, Ace Wells, on Jan. 6, 2016, per Us Weekly. Kandi gave birth to her second daughter, Blaze Tucker, via surrogate in 2019.
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