Kandi Lenice Burruss-Tucker (born May 17, 1976) is an American singer, songwriter, television personality, actress, and business woman. Burruss first gained notice in 1992 as a member of the American vocal group Xscape. In 2000, she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for her writing contributions on the TLC hit song "No Scrubs". Burruss currently stars in the Bravo reality television series The Real Housewives of Atlanta since its second-season premiere on July 30, 2009.
Burruss in 2016
Kandi Lenice Burruss
May 17, 1976
Todd Tucker (m. 2014)
Burruss was born in College Park, Georgia, the daughter of the Reverend Titus Burruss Jr. and Joyce Jones. She had an older brother, Patrick Riley (b. October 4, 1968 – d. 1991), who died in a car crash at age 22. Burruss attended Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Georgia, graduating in 1994. She first appeared on the BET series, Teen Summit, at age 15.
Prior to joining Xscape, LaTocha Scott had been performing with a group called Precise. While attending Tri-Cities performing arts high school in East Point, Georgia, Scott's sister Tamika met Kandi Burruss. The three began singing together and recruited a fourth member, Tamera Coggins, though her time with the group was short-lived. Soon Tameka "Tiny" Cottle was asked to audition for the girls, and Xscape was officially formed. After the group's major debut performance at BET's Teen Summit in 1992, the girls were introduced to record executive Ian Burke, who later became the group's manager. Xscape soon caught the attention of Jermaine Dupri, who later signed the group to his recording label So So Def Recordings.
The group released their debut album, Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha, on October 12, 1993. The album peaked at number seventeen the U.S. Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B Albums chart. It was a critical and commercial success, certified platinum within a year, and launched two top ten singles.
After their debut album's success, Xscape released their second studio album, Off the Hook, in 1995. The lead single, "Feels So Good", reached the top forty of the US Hot 100, while "Who Can I Run To" peaked at number eight. The album eventually went platinum. Their third and final studio album Traces of My Lipstick debuted at twenty-eight on the Billboard 200 and at six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop album chart; over a million copies were sold in the U.S. The album featured the top ten hit "The Arms of the One Who Loves You", which reached number seven on the Hot 100 chart, and "My Little Secret", which reached nine. After Traces of My Lipstick, LaTocha Scott initially left the group to pursue a solo career. The ladies soon regrouped and made appearances on the Big Momma's House and Hardball soundtracks, before going on another hiatus until 2005.
In 2017, TV One had planned to produce an unauthorized movie about Xscape which Kandi Burruss did not want to happen against her and the group's legacy. She called other band members to discuss starting a show of their own. The show was named Xscape: Still Kickin’ It, and it was set as a 4-episode miniseries. The show was launched on November 5, 2017, and airs on BravoTV. Before Kandi could rejoin the group, she wanted an apology from band member Tamika Scott claiming in a 2007 interview that Burruss broke up the group by sleeping with their label head Jermaine Dupri and his father, Michael Mauldin. Kandi wanted an apology for the false statement that Scott told, but did confirm that she and Dupri had been involved (though Burruss claims that wasn't the reason why the group broke up). Kandi got an apology from Tamika.
Solo work and productionEdit
After the disbanding of Xscape, Burruss focused on production and songwriting. In 1999, Burruss teamed with groupmate Tameka "Tiny" Cottle to score the international number one hit "No Scrubs" for TLC. That same year, Burruss wrote another song, "Bills, Bills, Bills" for Destiny's Child. Burruss would go on to work with Pink by co-writing her debut single "There You Go." Burruss was the first African-American woman to win the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers's Songwriter of the Year award in 2000. This award, in the Rhythm & Soul category, was given for her songwriting credits such as Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills" and TLC's "No Scrubs." In 2000, Kandi had released her debut album entitled "Hey Kandi..." with well known singles including "Don't Think I'm Not". The album did not do as well on the chart as the single did, scoring #72 on the US Billboard 200.
Burruss rewrote and executive produced the song "Tardy for the Party" for her Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Kim Zolciak. On March 12, 2013, Kandi Burruss, and her collaborating songwriter/producer, Rodney "Don Vito" Richard, filed suit against Zolciak for profits earned from "Tardy for the Party". In the documents filed, Burruss' attorney, RHOA castmate Phaedra Parks, alleges her clients wrote the song for Zolciak and that Zolciak released and sold the single "without [the] plaintiffs' authorization, license or consent." Burruss was also seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent future sales of the song and the "destruction of all copies of the infringing single and any other product of defendant's that infringe plaintiffs' copyrights", punitive damages, attorney's fees, and a jury trial.
Following a hiatus from music Burrus released her debut EP, the Fly Above EP, on October 29, 2009. By December 2009, Burruss announced she had signed a deal with Asylum Records after her deal with Capitol Records fell through. Her second album, Kandi Koated, was released in December 2010. Burruss also teamed with Atlanta female rapper Rasheeda to form the duo Peach Candy. In 2017, Ed Sheeran released his hugely successful single Shape of You. The song's lyrical rhythm drew comparisons to the TLC song "No Scrubs", particularly in the pre-chorus line, "Boy, let's not talk too much/ Grab on my waist and put that body on me." As a result, Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, and Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, were awarded co-writing credits on "Shape of You".
In March 2009, Entertainment Weekly reported that Burruss would replace DeShawn Snow in the second season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The introduction of Burruss, saw various storylines, initially she had recently become engaged to her boyfriend A.J. and expressed interest in reviving her music career. A feud developed between Nene Leakes and Burruss after the latter became friends with Zolciak and helped her record her single "Tardy for the Party". Burrus returned for the third season which saw, Zolciak and Burruss continue recording music together, although they clashed over their creative differences. A conflict between Burruss, Leakes, and Zolciak later ensued while the latter two women embark on a promotional concert tour. In later seasons, Burruss struck up a friendship with castmates Phaedra Parks and Porsha Williams, even starring the latter a role in her production of A Mother's Love, a play that Burruss and her husband created and produced. Sometime during her pregnancy with son Ace, a rift was shown between Phaedra and Kandi, eventually souring due to unpaid production fees that Parks owed Tucker.
Burrus received the second spin-off from The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Originally planned as a one-time television special, The Kandi Factory was launched as the second spin-off from The Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2012. It followed Burruss and her record producers as they attempted to launch the music careers of undiscovered artists, although it was confirmed in 2013 that the series was canceled after airing one season. Bravo announced Burruss and Tucker's wedding spin-off, Kandi's Wedding, on April 8, 2014. The series premiered on June 1, 2014, and concluded on July 6, 2014. Kandi's Wedding brought in very high ratings for Bravo, and topped NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak's previous spin-offs. The network later announced another series titled Kandi's Ski Trip, the third offshoot starring Burruss. The three-part special premiered after the conclusion of the seventh season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. On January 13, 2019, it was announced Burruss would be a houseguest in the second American season of the reality show competition Celebrity Big Brother. She placed fifth in the competition and was a fan favorite during her run on the show.
Burruss has made cameo appearances on series such as Single Ladies, Thicker Than Water: The Tankards, Chef Roblé & Co., and Let's Stay Together. Burruss also owns a sex toy company called Bedroom Kandi. Burruss and four friends started a "sex and relationship" web series on Ustream, Kandi Koated Nights. The show started on television in 2018.
Burruss and her ex-boyfriend, Russell "Block" Spencer of Block Entertainment, have a daughter named Riley Burruss born August 22, 2002. In late 2008, Burruss began a relationship with Ashley "A.J." Jewell and after dating several months, the couple became engaged in January 2009. However, on October 22, 2009, after sustaining head injuries in a brawl, Jewell died. On January 15, 2013, Burruss announced via Twitter that she was engaged to Todd Tucker, a former line producer for The Real Housewives of Atlanta, whom she had been dating since 2011 while filming the fourth season. On April 4, 2014, the couple got married. On July 22, 2015, Burruss announced that she was pregnant. On January 6, 2016, the couple welcomed their son, Ace Wells Tucker.
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