Kandi Burruss was born on May 17, 1976, in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up the younger of two. Kandi has stated she was definitely a daddy's girl before her father left the family when she was 4. Kandi was very close to her brother Patrick, who was older by 7 1/2 years and later died in a car accident when Kandi was a young teenager. Her first major appearance, on BET's Teen Summit, introduced her to the public and helped launch her career. Kandi attended Tri- Cities High School in East Point, Georgia.
Kandi Burruss puts a brand new spin on the term “POWERHOUSE.” Being phenomenal at taking her career to the next level, the beautiful risk taker entered the entertainment business a teenager as a founding member of the iconic multi-platinum selling girl group, Xscape. Now twenty years later, Kandi is a “fan favorite” on Bravo’s #1 Housewives show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” That’s not it: this superstar has catapulted her success of the last few years as a “housewife” into creating and executive producing her own TV show on Bravo, “The Kandi Factory,” a much talked about online weekly relationship show, “Kandi Koated Nights,” and a top- selling iTunes app, “Kandi Koated Spades.” Kandi is also the owner of two trendy boutiques, T.A.G.S. and T.A.G.S.II in her hometown of Atlanta, and the award winning intimate toy line, “Bedroom Kandi,” where she has added an in-home multi-level marketing service as well.
“I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. I’ve been blessed with a lot of success. To some, it seems that it has happened overnight, but after 20 years in entertainment, that’s hardly the case,” states Kandi.
Having helped to sell more than 60 million records worldwide for iconic recording stars such as TLC, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and more; Kandi has also amassed a number of high profile awards in music that includes: winning a Grammy, being nominated for an American Music Award and making history as the first woman to win the ASCAP “Songwriter of the Year” award in 2000 in addition to being awarded with a “Living Legend” award. Her ability to write hit songs for some of the most contemporary artists in the business gave her the necessary confidence to think outside of the box, broaden her audience, and experience. She recently worked with double Grammy Award-nominee and multi-platinum country sensation, Jo Dee Messina and Gospel great Marvin Sapp on a duet that hit number 1 on Billboard’s “Gospel Digital Songs” chart. Both in-studio sessions were shown on Kandi’s hit TV show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
“Working on country songs, in particular, is so different from R&B and Pop,” states the prolific songwriter. “You truly experience the whole recording moment with live instrumentation and records being cut on the spot with one take.”
Kandi showcases her innate skill for creating hit records and turning seemingly unskilled people into stars with her new show, “The Kandi Factory.” Successfully transforming RHOA cast mate, Kim into a diva, Kandi remembers being constantly approached by people on the street that would say, “If you can do that for Kim, I know you can do that for me!” Not too long after, with the help of Bravo, “The Kandi Factory” was born from a special and immediately green lighted to become a series.
In 2012, Kandi surprised even herself when her Midas touch took home one of the top awards in a different industry: adult entertainment. “I won the AVN award in less than a year of conceiving the product. I truly wasn’t expecting the win but was really excited that I did,” exclaims Kandi. She recently was nominated for five of AVN’s O Awards that recognize the companies and products that raise the bar for the novelty and pleasure products industry.
After partnering with Ohmibod in 2011 for “Bedroom Kandi,” together they thought up the most ingenious designs the industry had seen. “I wanted to make something discreet that women would be comfortable owning,” Kandi states. Many of the products are made to look like make-up containers. “Make Me Over” is designed as a compact, while “Kiss Me” is made in the shape of a lipstick. With over 2000 people signed up as ambassadors for Bedroom Kandi, Kandi is ready to take the line to the next level: door to door.
Forever spontaneous, Kandi spawned her weekly online relationship show, “Kandi Koated Nights,” during the uStreaming promotion of her last CD release, “Kandi Koated” (2010 — Warner Bros.) after a fan began making risqué comments that Kandi didn’t deem appropriate. She simply told him to wait until after 10PM and she would have those conversations with him then and she did just that. The after-hours conversation was SUCH a HIT that Kandi decided on doing a weekly show and has been doing such for more than three years.
Known as one of Rolling Out Magazine’s Top 25 Renaissance Women in Atlanta, Kandi’s willingness to go beyond marginal barriers, and her entrepreneurial spirit has allowed her to delve into other business fields as well. Her trendy and expanding Atlanta- based boutique, T.A.G.S., is known for providing affordable, quality threads for style-conscious women. She has also moved into providing apps for smartphone users. Feeling like African American consumers that buy apps outweigh companies that create apps, Kandi joined Konsole Kingz to make Kandi Koated Spades.
“They reached out to me asking how to play the card game spades,” says Kandi. “I told them how I play and the way most of my friends play, where the deuce is wild and people can call you out on reneging. I’ve put all of that in my game.”
Even with so many projects underway, Kandi is also working on her actor’s reel, having guest starred on the TBS television comedy, “Are We There Yet?” and BET sitcom, “Let’s Stay Together.”
Kandi says, “Since I was in high school, it’s been my dream to be an actor. I’ve been going forward in making that happen. Now I have an agent and I’ve made a few cameos. If someone doesn’t pick me for his or her movie, I’ll produce my own,” she says, chuckling. “That’s just one of my aspirations for 2013.
Kandi Burruss is always looking ahead, planning her next move — it’s the stamp of a mogul. “So many people are afraid of failure, but not me. The only way you’re going to be successful is if you’re fearless. I try to go into everything with that state of mind.”