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“It feels great,” Burruss, 44, tells PEOPLE of the victory. “I'm all about girl power, so I was just so happy that I could pull through to the end for all the women. I didn't even realize when I first started the show that no woman had ever won before, even though I did watch both seasons, I wasn't thinking about it in that way. As I started going forward I was like, I got to pull through it.”
Michael Becker/FOX Kandi Burruss as Night Angel.
Through the season, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star talked about wanting to win the competition for her kids Riley, 17, Ace, 4, and Blaze, 5 months. She also found confidence as a solo artist after years of performing with Xscape.
“I always had a love of singing and songwriting,” says Burruss, who penned hits for Destiny’s Child and TLC. “I've always wanted to continue to do music. But I just wasn't doing it. And now I'm making it a priority for myself. This is what I love. I don't know why I got so caught up in everything else. Just like anybody, as you get older you start thinking about what makes money, not necessarily always go on with your passion. But music is my passion. Whether it's writing it or singing it, it's my passion.”
The reality star opens up about her Masked Singer journey, Real Housewives reunion drama and staying home with two young kids and a teenager.
What is a night angel and why did you pick that costume?
The Night Angel to me, she's an angel so she has such a sweet, nice side to her but then there's a dark side too, which I think is really cool. I was supposed to be somebody else from the beginning. They gave me three different options. They gave me the Taco option, and then I think it was another one that was similar to the costume that Chaka Khan had. And then it was another one, which I can't say because nobody used it. The other one is the one I had picked. I wanted something with pants because I wanted to be able to move around. And then they called me like a week or two after I picked my costume, I had gotten fitted and everything and they were like, we had another option, how would you like this? And when I saw Night Angel I was like, oh most definitely. This is what I need in my life.
Did your kids know you were doing the show?
My daughter Riley actually was very good at helping me pick some of the songs, because in the beginning you got to send in a list of songs that you're interested in possibly performing, and so my mom and Riley were both like, “What about this song? What about that song?”
Did your Xscape bandmates immediately recognize your voice?
I’m sure they did, but they never said anything to me. If anybody knows my voice, they know my voice, but they didn't say anything, so they were just letting me do my thing. I saw Tiny did interviews and people were asking her about it and she was just being very coy, so I knew she knew it was me. But she was playing along with the secret.
Raymond Boyd/Getty Xscape circa 1993.
It’s a big week for you because you also have the Housewives reunion going on. How was it filming that virtually?
That was hilarious. I did not think that we were really going to be able to pull it off. In my mind I'm like, how are we going to argue with each other over a laptop? But when it happened, I was shocked because we were extremely passionate about getting our points across, so passionate to the point where they had to mute. It turned out to be a really crazy reunion.
RELATED VIDEO: Kandi Burruss Is 'Not Trying to Do Any Battles' on Instagram Live: 'No Thank You'
Kandi Burruss Is 'Not Trying to Do Any Battles' on Instagram Live: 'No Thank You'
PLUS: Kandi talks about NeNe Leakes asking for Phaedra Parks to come back to RHOA
What can you tease about how the fight between you and Nene Leakes will or will not resolve itself in the final part of the reunion?
It does not resolve itself. She's still being a hater right now.
Do you think the Masked Singer exposure is going to fuel her even more?
I mean, I know she has been talking about me, but it's all good. [Before the reveal] I was laughing to myself like, if she only knew. But it's cool. Honestly, I don't really care too much about what she says. I don't mind it. I've been on for 11 seasons — at this point, we say what we say about each other, but I don't really take anything she has to say to heart. I know we will argue because we're like oil and water, we don't necessarily mix, but I don't take it to heart. I don't have any hate for her or anything like that. I'm not letting anything get me down at all.
Especially with your new song “Used to Love Me,” you're already doing so well! Why did you want to make a dance song?
When you can start off in an urban R&B group, everybody wants you to stay in that lane and I didn't want to be too stuck in one lane anymore. And the show really helps with that because I felt like I had so many genres of music while I was on the show and that was intentional. I can do whatever I want to do, I don't have to be stuck in a box. I wanted to do a song that was more dance and club instead of an urban R&B record. My last album was a lot more slow songs and I remember people being like, we need more to dance to. So I wanted to give people something that just made you want to move. I wanted to do a song that reached everybody worldwide.
Are there any plans for an album or a tour when you can?
I definitely want to do an album. I plan to release it in the coming months. But I really wanted to do a tour. When I first won, because it was before this quarantine happened, I had all these plans and all these things out there to do. And then our whole world got shut down. I'm not sure when I'll be able to tour .but my husband was like, maybe I can do like a virtual concert or something like that. I think that can be fun, so I think I'm going to put something like that together.
How is your restaurant in Atlanta doing amid coronavirus? You had said The Old Lady Gang (a clue on the show!) pivoted to takeout like so many others.
Yeah, that's what we had to end up doing. The Old Lady Gang, our restaurant, it's been good, but obviously not as we normally do when we're able to open our doors. Georgia opened back up, so everybody's trying to figure out how to open safely, so that's what we're doing right now, making plans. We’re re-doing a lot of the tables and stuff so we can social distance properly and all of that. Our plan is to open up in June, next month. And so we're setting up.
How has it been being home with two young kids during all of this?
Blaze, she is a happy baby. She is always smiling, and she's just great every day. But she definitely likes to be held and picked up, so having two small ones, he always wants somebody to play with him, so that can be challenging at times. But everybody in the house is pitching in to make sure we could keep them happy.
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