Long before she held a peach, Kandi Burruss had put in work. Not only was she the member of one of the top girl groups in the 90’s Xscape, she went on to write hit songs for a slew of other artists, including Alicia Keys, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston etc. She.Does.This.

Despite all of her success, Burruss said that now, more than ever, she recognizes the fragility of fame. Which is why she was particularly excited to appear on her first cover of Essence.

“It’s a very humbling moment when your songs aren’t on the radio anymore. I didn’t appreciate what that success was when we had it. I remember feeling like, when I get things back the way I want them to be, I will never take anything for granted again.”

She attributes her success over the years, in various industries to the combination of key personality traits.

“Some of us are doers and some of us are just dreamers. I’m both. I’m trying to build so that I can set up my children to have great futures. All of these different companies that we have, I would love for them to be passed down from generation to generation. I want my kids to be leaders.”

Speaking of her children, the artist turned reality star, also spoke about how her family structure has changed over the years from raising Riley as a single mother to being married in a blended family.

“…as Riley got older, I saw that there were things she did miss, not having her dad really there. Now this is even better. We’re a whole family—we’ve got Riley, Kaela [Tucker’s 21-year-old daughter from a previous relationship] and Ace [the couple’s 21-month-old son.]”

And of course, they had to ask her about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” specifically about the drama caused by Phaedra spreading a vicious lie about her drugging Porsha in order to have sex with her. Burruss said the whole incident made her rethink whether or not she wanted to be involved in the show at all.

“…I honestly had a lot of times when I just cried. There were moments when I really wanted to say, ‘You know what? I’m done with this!’ I was vindicated in front of millions, which helped me to feel comfortable again…”

You can check out Kandi’s full interview in Essence’s October issue, which hits newsstands this week.

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