What Did the Housewives Do Before ‘RHoA’?
The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast is making bank now thanks to their Bravolebrity status, but before the women found fame on reality TV, many of them held down shockingly normal jobs.
From working as an in-demand stripper to clocking hours as a high-powered entertainment attorney, NeNe Leakes and her ilk did whatever they could to earn a buck before those big, fat checks started rolling in.
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Scroll down to see what the women did before joining one of the most successful TV franchises of all time, and prepare to be amazed!
Before earning a reported $2 million per season for her work on RHoA, NeNe was workin’ the pole as a stripper named “Silk” in Atlanta.
While some women might be ashamed of a past like that, NeNe has always been proud of her hustle and the fact she worked her tail off as a single mom to care for her son, Bryson.
Reflecting on her early job she said, “I was putting my son through private school. I knew how to talk game to get the money from the guys.”
The strippper stint ended up being a blessing in disguise for the now 48-year-old, who met her husband Gregg in da club. The rest, as they say, is history.
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Porsha Williams has the distinction of being the most sheltered lady of the bunch.
So far as we know, she pretty much went from her mother’s house to now-ex-husband Kordell Stewart’s house when the pair married in 2011, and never really had to earn a living to support herself.
However, since divorcing the NFL great in 2013, the 33-year-old has really stepped up her game. In addition to the income she now generates from RHoA, she works hard as a well-liked Dish Nation host and has her own line of lingerie and hair extensions.
Porsha may have gotten a slow start, but she’s all work, work, work now, and that’s something we can really respect.
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Was there ever a point in time when Kandi Burruss was not working?
The Grammy-winning recording artist got an early start in the workforce as one of the founding members of Xscape, and she’s been earning a solid living ever since.
In her post-girl group days the mom of two has written tracks for artists like Destiny’s Child and TLC, and she’s still one of the most in-demand writers in the biz.
Though Kandi’s own singing career has taken a back seat lately, she’s currently managing two groups hopefully destined for super-stardom.
Oh, and the 40-year-old also has a sex toy line, a chain of successful clothing boutiques, and a restaurant in the works.
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The only gal who might rival Kandi in the career department is her one-time BFF, Phaedra Parks.
The 42-year-old worked as a successful entertainment attorney before joining RHoA, and she still practices law to this day.
In addition, the Georgia is now also an author, an aspiring mortician and funeral director, and the co-creator of the Phine Body workout DVDs.
As a mother to two young boys, Phaedra has also donated much of her time and resources to bettering the lives of young black men in the wake of things like the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown tragedies.
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Cynthia Bailey was used to a life in front of the camera before she joined RHoA at the start of Season 3.
The Alabama native flew to New York City as a teen and began working as a model. Though she doesn’t model as much anymore, the 49-year-old has graced the covers of Essence and Ebony to name a few, and has appeared in editorials for Vogue.
These days Cyn has taken what she learned in the fashion world and parlayed it into The Bailey Agency School of Fashion and her successful eyewear and handbag lines.
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Like Cynthia, Kenya Moore got by with a little help from her gorgeous looks in her pre-RHoA days.
The 45-year-old rose the beauty queen ranks before winning Miss USA in 1993. After that, she transitioned to acting, appearing in Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Waiting to Exhale, and more. She’s also produced various projects, including her ill-fated Life Twirls On pilot.
Now the Detroit native has added booty guru and hair care expert to her resume, and we have a feeling she’s not done yet.
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Another workhorse in the RHoA cast is Kim Fields.
Best known for her role as Tootie on Facts of Life, Kim began acting when she was about seven, and hasn’t stopped.
Though she prioritizes being a mom to her two sons now, the 47-year-old is still involved in the entertainment biz.
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Sheree Whitfield had it made as an NFL wife when she joined RHoA in 2008, and she was an aspiring fashion designer as well.
Though her marriage to Bob Whitfield soon crumbled and her She By Sheree line failed, the 46-year-old landed on her feet.
She returned to RHoA in Season 8 after a brief break, and now counts herself as an author and t-shirt designer.
Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 8 below:
Kandi Shows Todd Something He’s Never Seen Before! (PHOTO)
Congrats to Kenya & Her Boyfriend, Matt Jordan!
How Much Is The Real Housewives of Atlanta Cast Worth?
We Know Why Kim Fields Apparently Quit RHoA
NeNe Goes Beatless on Instagram, Stays Flawless (VIDEO)