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February 7, 2010

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Singer takes tragedy and new fame in her stride

KANDI Burruss (pictured below) is soaking up every moment of her second claim to fame, knowing how fast the limelight can fade away.

"I'm so appreciative of everything I have now," said Burruss, a member of the defunct 1990s R&B group Xscape, which had hits like "Understanding" and "Who Can I Run To." Thanks to her success on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" on Bravo, she's back in the spotlight, and is trying to remain there.

At her clothing boutique Tags in Atlanta, Burruss, 33, talked about how the reality show has rejuvenated her music and acting career, and how the recent slaying of her ex-fiance, Ashley "A.J." Jewell, brings her to tears.

Q: How has the "Housewives" show helped jump start your career?

A: It gave me a platform to show what I can do. A lot of people knew me from Xscape, but didn't know what I've been doing behind the scenes. It let people know I wanted to act. When people saw "Monologues," they were like, "she can act too." So, that was also a good look.

Q: You rewrote and produced the song "Tardy For the Party" for your cast mate Kim Zolciak. Were you worried about the song failing while on the show?

A: It could've gone either way. It went good but it could've been career suicide for me. If that song would've been wack, that's all people would remember me by. Nobody would've taken me seriously. Labels would've been saying I'm not hot anymore as a writer.

Q: Now, you're looking to release an album this year. What will be the album title?

A: At first, I was going to call it "B.L.O.G." because I was inspired by some of the things I read on the blogs. Now I'm feeling like I should called it "Fly Above." I'm now overcoming stress and drama.

Q: Will you go into depth about your "Housewives" experience and A.J.'s death on the album?

A: Some of the songs were written prior to the show. Half of the songs were written during my relationship with A.J. With the "Housewives" show you get the visual. So this album is the soundtrack.

Q: How have you been able to move forward after his death?

A: Everybody deals with death differently. But for me, I like to stay busy. My brother passed away when I was in high school.

With it (Jewell's slaying) being in the news, I couldn't go places without people sympathizing, saying they're sorry. They'll start crying and it'll make me cry.


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