EXCLUSIVE: Getting candid with The Real’s Adrienne Bailon Houghton


We caught up with her during her visit to Mzansi to talk about her growing brand and future plans.

Adrienne Bailon Houghton was in Mzansi with her hubby, gospel singer Israel Houghton – who was performing at The Encounter 3 Festival of Praise – this past weekend.  Adrienne gave us an exclusive interview at Jozi’s Palazzo Hotel to talk about her career and plans to start a family.

Why did you decide to visit SA?

I have wanted to come to South Africa for some time now because my husband always says it’s his favourite place in the world. I’ve never been and wanted to experience it with him, so when he got to the opportunity to do a concert at The Dome he asked me to come with. I decided to announced I’m coming and I got so much love so I decided to do something while here, which is why I did the women’s talk in Durban and the girls talk here in Johannesburg.

How are you finding SA?

The people are friendly and it’s beautiful here. It’s been incredible meeting the women at the events I had. We were in Durban for the most part and I haven’t eaten so much! My goodness the bunny chow and curries are amazing!

Why are you so passionate about women’s issues?

My whole career I think is surrounded by that, I feel like I’m the ultimate girl group member. I started with 3LW to the Cheetah Girls with our ‘growl power’ aka girl power, and now I’m in a new girl group called The Real. My life has to lead up to these opportunities because I literally come from a family of just women.

What did growing up in a household full of women teach you?

You know I love my family and it taught me a lot and allowed me to break the stereotypes of the cattiness and the narrative that women are difficult to work with. That has never been my experience; I always feel when one wins we all win. My mom instilled the concept of cheering for other women.

What lessons have you learnt in your journey?

The number one rule in life is obviously that God comes first and to love ourselves the way He loves us is the beginning of self-love. Once you love yourself it’s easier to love other people; you might not know what someone is going through so learn to accept people. Self-love has been my biggest lesson.

Can we expect any new music from you?

Yes, I’m actually on my husband’s upcoming album ROAD TO DEM?A?S?K?US. It’s a beautiful album and very personal for him and it opens with a song we do together called Secrets. I also have another single on the album called Be still but you never know –  I might release music in the near future.

How is it working with your husband?

I truly love it because we have so much fun together. To be honest I believe in his gift so much so when he tells me I sound good I believe that. I know he’d never say I sound dope if I didn’t. He is so gifted, he is teaching me how to play the guitar so there is definitely more music coming. 

How is it working on The Real?

I love my job which makes it easier to wake and be in studio by 4am in the morning. We are truly friends, I love them so much. It’s at that point where it has become a sisterhood – we’re over the stage where we have to pretend and play nice, it isn’t high maintenance at all. Like, I can invite Jeannie over to my house and we can just sit on my couch, watch TV, check Instagram and laugh!

How do you deal with negativity?

I have been doing this since I was like 14. I basically grew up in Hollywood so at this point I’ve gotten tough. I have a strong support system; my family, my friends and my husband are a solid foundation and God has my back. Even when people look at me and my husband, questioning us and saying we don’t make sense together, [I don’t care]. That actually brought us closer. I don’t take negativity personally, be it a troll on Instagram or whatever, I just think it says more about them than me. I’ve got better things to do than write nasty comments on Instagram.

What’s next?

Season five of The Real is coming, and I can’t wait to actually do nothing with my husband. We’ve been travelling a lot this (American) summer but we haven’t really been on vacation so I’ll relax before the show starts. Also, we’re hoping to start a family next year, which I’m really excited about!  I think it’s going to be a big transitional moment for us.

The Real airs Monday to Thursday, at 6pm. 

Images: Supplied

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