kandi burrus (stay prayed up)*Until the latest episode of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (RHOA) Kandi Burruss had been relatively low key during season 5.

As she concentrates on a new relationship with her fiance’ Todd Tucker and decorating her new home, Burruss hasn’t had time to get caught up in the never-ending drama between the “talls and smalls” that seems to be the focus of the program.   But, her manager, Don Juan, noticed her career has been lagging as she puts all of her energy toward her personal life.

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Agreeing that she need to re-focus, the 36-year-old singer/songwriter/producer went back to the studio and unexpectedly laid tracks for a … gospel record!  Don Juan was  understandably taken aback when his client said she wanted to add a gospel song to her next CD.   Although Burruss has been successful making hits for her self and others and has dabbled in other genres (Country and House for instance), the R&B singer’s desire to do a gospel album comes as a surprise because Kandi, a single mom,  is known for speaking candidly about sex. More importantly, she owns a sex toy line (“Bedroom Kandi“) and hosts a sexually oriented web show (“Kandi Koated Knights“), two factors that are not typical of an artist that sings about/for the Lord.

Apparently, Burruss is looking to make another hit.   The song, entitled “Prayed Up,” features platinum- selling gospel artist Marvin Sapp.  He sings and preaches the gospel.  She sings and sells sex toys. Online comments suggest this collaboration struck a bad chord with the majority of viewers.

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Days after the show aired, on Facebook Burruss expressed  that she was prepared for disapproval:

“I knew when I decided to do it that I would be criticized. That’s to be expected. I’m a single mom that had a child out of wedlock, I speak openly about sex on #KandiKoatedNights, I have #BedroomKandi, etc… I’m very honest about who I am. ”

The Grammy award winning, former member of 90′s girl group Xscape is not deterred  by the criticism. In the lyrics of the song she calls herself a “sinner”  and says “hopefully people with a similar struggle can relate.”

Kandi won’t be the first R&B songstress to do a gospel album.  Many R&B artists got their start in the church and want to return to their roots; some of them never left their roots.  Sometimes an artist will do music they always wanted to do. As Burruss said on the follow-up episode, she is claiming a #1 record.  From the sound of the single  Kandi is back in her zone.

Listen to “Stay Prayed Up”: