You may know Andrea Kelly as the former wife of R&B singer R. Kelly, but the professional choreographer, dancer and mother of three hasn’t let the failed marriage keep her from dating again. In fact, Drea revealed on last night’s episode of “Hollywood Exes” that she was engaged to Brian McKee, a barber! And a he is fineee…
Andrea proudly flashed her rock and a cheeky smile as she broke the news to her cast mates on the season premiere. In real-time Andrea and Brian are already married (the couple tied the knot on March 6th) and she gushed to us that she’s engulfed in love! When Andrea isn’t filming “Hollywood Exes,” or flexing her long stems in the gym, she’s catching up with “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” so she also has some advice for fellow reality star Porsha Williams. Plus the Chicago native had tons to say about the gang violence that claims the lives of hundreds of kids each year.
Check out our candid Q+A, below:
HelloBeautiful: Tell us about your new hubby!
Andrea Kelly: Honey, Mr. Man, that’s my boo. He is just my best friend. That’s the only word I can use to describe him. [He is] someone who, even on my worst day, makes me feel beautiful. I just feel like I’m 100 percent me. He is my biggest cheerleader, the best coach and a dedicated man all in one. He pushes me to be better and there’s nothing that I feel like I can’t do [when I'm with him]. He’s just a wonderful guy. A God-fearing guy is someone I prayed for and he’s funny.
HB: Is that what you look for in a man?
AK: I do and I did. Nobody has a crystal ball, you can’t say, ‘we’re going to be together forever.’ That is my hope and my prayer that we would be together forever. But, God forbid if we’re not, that’s still the characteristics I would look for in a man. There’s a lot of men who say they love God, but a man who fears God, his soul is going to tremble at the thought, ‘this is someone who is my wife,’ and do right by her. A man who fears God, his very first thought is, “What am I doing to please God that then is going to be please her?” That’s what I got, I struck gold.
HB: Was it hard for you to take a leap and get married again?
AK: Not at all. I’m not one who gets jaded by another relationship because I believe life happens and if you live your life by being jaded by the experiences of life, you’re going to end up an alcoholic or depressed somewhere. You have to know that life happens. Good, bad or indifferent. You have to keep going. You can’t give up on the thing that God says is our birthright: to love and be loved. When you let go of that, you’ve now given up your power. I refuse to give up my power. Joy and love are two things I’m born with and I can’t give that up over a relationship. Being married again has always been an option for me.
HB: Was there ever a time when you hit a low point after your first marriage?
AK: I think, for about 22 seconds in my life, yes, because you’re in the thick of it and you’re in pain. But, even in that, the demise of a relationship, if you take responsibility for your part in it, it allows to get to the other side. No relationship ends because one person did something wrong. If that’s the case, you never would’ve been in a relationship with that person in the first place because they would’ve been all wrong. There was something great about it. There was something loving in that relationship that made you go in it in the first place. You have to know equally something you guys bought to the table or didn’t bring to the table is the reason why the relationship did or did not work.
HB: You’re from Chicago, how do you feel about this Chi-Raq movement?
AK: I don’t remember this Chicago that we live in right now. I come from the old school. I don’t get it, I don’t understand it, but we have a generation with no foundation right now. We talk about how we have bad kids, but we don’t have people parenting like they used to. We don’t have communities, we don’t have ‘big mommas’ anymore. The [kids] have no direction right now. So, we’re expecting children to parent and lead themselves, but they don’t have leaders and examples to look to do it. That’s our fault that kids can call the police because you got your butt whooped if you did. Back in the day, the stuff that kids are doing now, you would’ve gotten choked out.
HB: What is your take on physical discipline?
AK: My take on physical discipline is whoop their a** discipline. Make them see dead people. They need to know, ‘I’m not your friend, I’m not playing with you. I’m your parent, I am here to make sure you’re okay.’ All you need to do is be respectful, and if you’re showing disrespect, no, it’s going down. We want everyone to parent, but we’re taking away their ability to parent. Am I say be abusive? Absolutely not. That is absurd, but I do believe that children need to know they are loved. They need to know there are boundaries and they need to know you’re crazy a little bit. There is a level of respect that comes with that. There used to be a time when women, children and elders were shown a level of respect. Yeah, we had gang-bangers back in the day, but there was still a level of respect. Now, it’s an all out, ‘go for what you know.’
HB: You went through s public divorce, what advice would you have for ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star Porsha Williams?
AK: That’s someone I would really like to sit down and meet because I understand what that’s like. I know what it’s like to go through it publicly and to not have that support system when everyone else is giving their opinions on what they think you were or what they think you did. A lot of women in my position, people just assume that you’re with these men for the money. If you’re in it for love, you are really in it for love and for someone to speak on a relationship and they have not cried a tear? They have not spent a lonely night, they haven’t had to be in an argument, they have not had the beauty of that good makeup sex with that person.
So for her, I’d just want her to know that there are women in this business who support her that get it and understand it; I think me more than anybody. With my ex, I was like the phantom wife. I was like Santa Claus. You just woke up one day and there were three kids. But, who’s the woman who had these three kids? Where’s this great woman? I was there all along and I was almost invisible, but in that moment watching, I almost felt like, “wow.” All these rumors they’re saying about Porsha makes the woman invisible. She’s in the thick of it. She’s just going through a divorce. How insensitive can we be? It’s mostly women who don’t support other women.
HB: Do you think you would’ve reacted the same way as Porsha did to Kenya at their show’s reunion after their war of words turned into jabs about Porsha’s former marriage?
AK: My mouthpiece is no joke, so I would’ve said whatever I had to say and been done with it. But, again, you don’t know until you’re in that situation. I don’t want to be taunted by anyone on any level. What’s odd enough about the situation, most of the bad energy was with another cast mate, so why was it being directed to Porsha? We all know who to play with? It’s like kids. We learn that as children, so you know who to play with and who not to play with. It’s like she was preyed upon because she was vulnerable in that moment. I don’t condone violence whatsoever, but I don’t condone being taunted and when someone is on a reality show speaking how we want to be supportive in one breath, but being condescending in another.
HB: What can we expect from the ladies on your show this season?
AK: You guys will start to see us live. The first season, you were introduced to us, but the second season, you start to learn our characters, third season, you get to see us living. You see how we are and what we go through. It’s a lot. Life is real, life happens and you get to see us navigate through it.
HB: We saw a cast member say Black and white don’t mix. What was going on with that?
It was a comment about white girls and Black girls don’t mix, we just don’t mesh. On the trailer, she makes a comment of ‘well, I’m not racist, I date Black men.’ My problem with that comment was if you’re dating a Black man, you shouldn’t have a problem with his Black mama, his Black aunties and his Black grandmother. You can’t put a comment out there without explaining what you mean. The way it was put out there, it was not the basis of love. It was not the basis of a shared experience.
We live in a world where, unfortunately, we want to pretend racism is not alive and well. It is, we just changed its costume. I’m not shocked with the comments made from Jessica. I don’t have a problem with Jessica saying what she wants to say. Drea’s problem is, you have to know my reaction is going to be what it’s going to be. I think now, putting a comment out there like that, people watching the show, if you thought Drea was a lot to take, Black America’s gonna do something now.
Watch “Hollywood Exes” on VH1, Wednesdays at 9 PM ET/PT.