Did you have trouble recognizing the covergirl on this month's Essence magazine? It's Kandi Burruss, showing stunning weight loss [VIDEO] and a lean, edgier look in cropped, bleachy locks. The "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star has weathered a lot this year. But her biggest pride source is gracing the Essence cover, landing a Broadway role, and staying strong through it all. The Xscape singer gave an honest, upbeat interview you're going to love.

Kandi Burruss falls out and in with Tamika Scott

The Xscape co-singers may be making beautiful music within the R&B group, but outside, there's some in-fighting, or at least some rumor-mongering.

"Strangers in the House" star Tamika Scott threw shade at her fellow singer, saying that Burruss "slept her way to the top." That hurt, but Kandi told readers that the two had reconciled for the Essence Fest in New Orleans. However that's not the only muddied waters that the RHOA celeb of reality TV is having to calm.

Phaedra Parks airs co-star's dirty laundry

The "Bedroom Kandi" star admits to "freaky" sex practices involving perhaps bisexual threesomes. The Reality TV show is popular for its juicy adult tidbits. But that revelation was too much fodder for ex RHOA cast member Phaedra Parks. The celebrity [VIDEO] started a rumor that Burruss and husband Todd Tucker planned to drug and rape co-star Porsha Williams for some BDSM fun. The mom of two hotly denied allegations, but said there's no smoke without fire, which she had provided.

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Kandi Burruss kissed a girl and liked it

As for raping Porsha, h--l no, but a little lesbian kiss, why not? The reality television mom said in an interview on "The Real" that the RHOA celebrities enjoyed kissing but that was far as the LGBT stuff went. Parks was removed from the show for her slanderous comments but not before they caused a lot of pain and suffering among cast members. Burruss says quitting Bravo was not an option and that she powered on for her husband and kids.

RHOA mom opens up on body beautiful

Kandi's quick slimdown after pregnancy gave rise to diet pill speculation on Instagram and Facebook. Burruss said breastfeeding and cutting sugar and carbs were her secrets. Plastic surgery is out--Kandi bit down on suggestions of Botox treatments, breast implant and tummy tuck. She claims that the "boob job" was a push-up bra. But it doesn't matter to fans--they were just delighted with her "essence", period!