RHOA star Shamari DeVoe channels her energy into her marriage, music, and reality television
ATLANTA VOICE — DeVoe is known as a member of the legendary girl group Blaque and the wife of the one and only Ronnie DeVoe from New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe
By Sierra Porter
Since its first episode back in 2008, people have relied on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” to bring entertainment and drama to television. Currently, in its 11th season and tenth year of existence, the show has introduced a couple of new ladies to the cast; one being Shamari DeVoe.
DeVoe is known as a member of the legendary girl group Blaque and the wife of the one and only Ronnie DeVoe from New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe. She’s been heating things up on RHOA, as she allows viewers to take a look into her daily life with her husband for the first time.
“I just wanted people to hear my story and a lot of people knew me from being in the group Blaque,” DeVoe said.
Her decision to let the camera’s into her personal life came from wanting to show a different side of herself outside of her being in a girl group.
After the cameras started rolling. DeVoe even admitted that she had an open relationship in her marriage. She also revealed that she had bi-curious during a moment in her life.
“How people will see you from the outside opens you up to so many different perceptions and views of who you are,” said DeVoe. She adds, “You could be misjudged, but I stand in living my truth, and I’m happy.”
When her husband found out that she wanted to go on the show, his response was an instant “h*ll no.”
“He’s so protective of his family, but after a while, we talked, and we knew that we had a story that we wanted to tell on a big platform, so he was like, ‘okay, we’ll give it a shot,’ said DeVoe.
The happy couple originally met back in 2001, during the MTV’s Icon Awards.
“We ended up clicking that day, and the rest is history,” DeVoe said.
One of the most interesting aspects of the couple’s marriage is that they’ve decided to use their relationship to help others. Their “Married for Life Walk” to encourage and inspire couples to have healthier marriages.
“If they’re going through challenges in their relationship, we are there to help you get through those challenges, “ DeVoe said. “We have an annual ‘Married for Life Walk’ every year where we have maybe like 500 couples that come out. This is the third one coming up, and they reaffirm a love for one another.”
According to DeVoe, the event isn’t just for the many couples, but a chance for her family to get involved in the community.
While DeVoe is gaining more notoriety from RHOA, the mother of twin boys has been singing since she was three-years-old. She met her late group member Natina Reed in the fifth grade where they formed an urban country group.
DeVoe met her other group member, Brandi Williams, when she was 12-years-old during a talent show.
As fate would have it, DeVoe met Lisa “Lefteye Lopes” from TLC while in another girl group during a talent show.
“She never ended up finding me when I was in that group,” DeVoe said. “Fast forward when I was 16, I ended up getting into Blaque and met her brother Ronald Lopes.”
After performing for Lopes, she flew the girls to New York City where they sang for Tommy Mottola at Columbia Records. Just like that, Blaque signed to Columbia Records.
Blaque’s self-titled album dropped in the summer of 99 and became a huge success. The album sold 1.5 million copies, and the influence of Lopes was evident.
However, things came to a halt in 2001 when the group’s sophomore album “Blaque Out” was shelved by Columbia Records and their video for “Can’t Get It Back” was never released.
The group never received an explanation as to why the record label shelved the group’s second album.
The girl group ended up getting signed by Elektra Records and began working on their third album. The also produced an alternate version of what was supposed to be their second album, titled “Blaque by Popular Demand. ” The album was released to iTunes on May 22, 2007.
Unfortunately, their mentor Lisa Lopes died before it was released due to a car crash on April 25, 2002.
“I remember when I felt like I wanted to give up in the music industry and Lisa was like, ‘if you don’t want you to do this, I’m with you, and if you decide you want to do it then, I’m still with you,’” DeVoe said. She adds, “No matter what she was there.”
To make matters worse, Reed died on October 26, 2012, after being struck by a car.
DeVoe was on the phone with her late bandmate two hours before she passed away. They were singing old songs. After speaking an Autism event, DeVoe was in her hotel room when her other bandmate Williams called her with the sad news.
“A special time that we shared was when we told each other that we love each other,” DeVoe said regarding Reed. For her, the pain of losing her late former bandmate reminds her of never knowing “the last time you’re gonna see that person.”
In honor of both of their memories, Williams and DeVoe plan to release an album dedicated to Lopes, which is the final project they recorded with Reed. A petition has been signed, and the girls are working to make sure they have complete control over the project.
Currently, DeVoe is using the RHOA platform to promote upcoming projects regarding music and many more.
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice.