Reported by Liku Zelleke
Kandi Burruss has been in the entertainment industry since she was just 15-years-old. As an R&B singer, she was a member of Xscape, the group that was responsible for 90s hits like “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding,” and “Keep On, Keepin’ On.”
Once that was over, Burruss went on to make a career out of writing songs that would make others shine. Groups like TLC and Destiny’s Child were some of her clients, and she was responsible for some of their unforgettable hits like “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills.”
But that wasn’t the end of her success. In 2009, Burruss joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta during its second season and has stayed on for six seasons. She then continued to work on various projects and even did a stint on Broadway.
Today, at 38-years-old, the married mother of one is reportedly worth $35 million. Although there is no denying that she is a woman with multiple talents and a strong work ethic, she gives credit for attaining her financial success to one person—LL Cool J.
In an interview with Essence magazine, Burruss spoke about how the rapper influenced her with advice so helpful that she heeded his words and came out a winner because of it.
“When I was 19, I was still in Xscape then, we were on tour with R. Kelly and LL Cool J,” she said. “I remember he was like a big brother, always sitting down and talking to give ‘the younger kids’ advice. I had just bought my first house right before we went on tour and of course, I had a mortgage. He sat me down and said, ‘Look, whatever you do, you need to try and pay off your house as soon as possible.’
“He said, ‘You always need to have at least one car and one house that you own because in this business, you could be making money and the next thing you know, you’re broke and can’t afford it.'”
LL Cool J went on to explain the importance of “reducing the principal” by telling her, “Every time you get some money, throw a little bit extra to the principal. If you get a $1000, put an extra $50 towards it. If you get a big bulk of money, put down an extra $5000! Then you will knock years off of your loan.”
“I listened to him,” Burruss said. “And as soon as I went home on our little break, I got my little mortgage payment out and I figured out how many years it was going to take to pay off my house. I realized that he was right. If you put down a little extra, a 30-year loan can be paid off in 10 years. That was my best advice.”