Danity Kane Discuss Diddy, Putting Women In Power And Colorism
Earlier this season, Danity Kane regrouped after a years-long separation to tour the country and perform their tunes. Although D. Woods and Aundrea Fimbres opted out of the reunion, Dawn Richard, Aubrey O’Day, and Shannon Bex rekindled the spark they once had.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the trio dished on their life-changing experiences within their careers at the hands of men and a time when one group member was made to feel ugly in her own skin.
Richard recalled a meeting with music executive Jimmy Iovine who reportedly said to the singer and her Diddy-Dirty Money partner Kalenna Harper (this is after Danity Kane disbanded), that they were unattractive. “Jimmy Iovine told Kalenna and I to our face, he looked at Puff and said, ‘Why don’t you have two-light skinned girls?’ In front of a boardroom of fifty people,” she said.
As for Harper, she issued a statement to Cosmopolitan that Diddy “encouraged” her to keep her looks just as is and that he was asked why someone like Cassie wasn’t a part of the trio. “But Puff insisted on the sound matching the look,” she said. Harper also added that Iovine referred to her as “now one of his favorite writers and favorite voices to listen to.”
O’Day later added that if Diddy encouraged the young stars to fully be themselves, they could’ve soared to new heights. “Look at after all of that, we’re back together and we just did an incredible show that featured all of us in our greatness,” she said. “Imagine had he made us believe in it at that age, what we could be right now.”
In terms of what the group wishes they could’ve told their younger selves, Richard shared she would’ve walked tall in her blackness. “I would’ve told myself to own my blackness,” Richard said. “It was a different time. It wasn’t cool to be dark, it wasn’t cool to be thin, they had pounds of weave on us. I would’ve loved if someone would’ve just told us we was beautiful as is no matter how we looked. If somebody would’ve been like, ‘Black is fly. Don’t lose no weight, don’t gain no weight. Right there, that looks good.’ I would’ve told my younger self, ‘Own that sh*t.'”