Kandi Burruss is a well-known force in the R&B world. She was a member of the R&B girl group Xscape, a decorated songwriter, solo artist, and has also gone on to work as an actress in movies and television shows. She was the first African-American woman to ever win the American Society of Composers Songwriter of the Year award when she received it in 2000 for her work on "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "No Scrubs."
Kandi Lenice Burruss was born on May 17, 1976 in East Point, Georgia. Her parents are Reverend Titus Burruss Jr, and Joyce Jones.
While attending Tri-Cities performing arts high school, Kandi met Tamika Scott. Alongside Tamika's sister LaTocha, they began performing as a girl group and formally recruited Tameka "Tiny" Cottle. As part of Xscape, Kandi had her first television appearance at 15 on the television show Teen Summit. This performance got the ball rolling and the group got introduced to Ian Burke who became their manager and they got signed by Jermaine Dupri.
As part of Xscape, Kandi was involved with the group's three albums Hummin Comin At Cha, Off the Hook, and Traces of My Lipstick. Each album went platinum and performed well on the charts. The group had intermittent hiatuses as fellow group member LaTocha Scott pursued a solo career, and then again after a brief reunion involving appearances on several movie soundtracks.
With the group disbanded, Kandi expanded her repertoire into songwriting. She wrote "No Scrubs" for TLC alongside former group mate Tameka Cottle, and "Bills, Bills, Bills" for Destiny's Child. These songs led her to become the first African-American woman to win the aforementioned American Society of Composer's Songwriter of the Year award.
With all this success behind her, Kandi began her own solo career in 2000, releasing the album Hey Kandi. Despite the strong success of the single Don't Think I'm Not (which reached #24 on the Hot 100), and the small success of Cheatin on Me (#72 on R&B charts), the album failed to go gold, selling 260,000 copies in the United States.
Kandi attempted to get a follow up album going in 2006. She released a promo single, "I Need" but it didn't draw a lot of attention so it stalled out the momentum for the new album. By 2009, the project was able to get back off its feet again with an EP Fly Above. This grew further with the full album release in 2010, when Kandi released her second album, Kandi Koated. It featured all star production, with Ne-Yo and Bryan-Michael Cox assisting, and received strong critical praise. Sales were underwhelming though, with first week sales of 18,000.
Near this same time, in March 2009, Burruss would have a big opportunity that would change her trajectory. At that time, Entertainment Weekly reported that Burruss would be an addition to the television show The Real Housewives of Atlanta. As a fixture on the show, she had a number of spin-offs: The Kandi Factory, where she would help aspiring artists launch their careers. Kandi's Wedding, which followed her wedding to Todd Tucker. Kandi's Ski Trip which I assume is following her on a ski trip.
With all of these ventures, Kandi has become a fixture on reality television, participating on Celebrity Big Brother, RuPaul's Drag Race as a judge, and The Masked Singer (which almost seems unfair).
Back in music, Kandi and Xscape have explored reunions a number of times. As of 2020, the group has teased plans to start recording again, so there is a chance we will be seeing more music from Kandi and the others soon.