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Not only is the staff at Old Lady Gang like a family, but some of the employees actually are related. That includes Patrick Dallas, who, in addition to managing the OLG parking lot, is Kandi Burruss’ cousin and Aunt Bertha Jones’ grandson.
Kandi has opened up on Kandi & The Gang about how Patrick was something of a little brother to her growing up. And when Patrick became old enough to be a mentor in his own right, he similarly took Kandi’s daughter, Riley Burruss, under his wing. “I love Riley. That’s my little cousin. She’s like a little sister to me,” Patrick told The Daily Dish in an interview in April. “When she was in elementary school, I think I was in high school, and I used to take her to her father-daughter dances before Todd [Tucker] came into the picture. I mean, I know I was her cousin, but I just used to go with her every year to her father-daughter dances.”
Patrick gave Riley guidance all throughout her school years, especially as she prepared to apply to colleges, ultimately enrolling at New York University in 2020. “When she needed help with some of her essays and writing and stuff, I’d give her assistance,” Patrick said. “So, yeah, I love Riley to death. It’s amazing watching her grow into the young lady that she is today.”
Of course, Patrick and Riley know how to have fun too, getting in some cousin catch-up sessions whenever they can. In April, Patrick reposted one of Kandi's TikToks showing Riley leading them in re-creating one of the platform’s viral dances.
And while Kandi’s TikTok probably got a few more eyeballs on it than your average user — she is a Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter, TV star, and business mogul, after all — Patrick just knows her as Cousin Kandi. “At first, I didn’t see her as a celebrity. I didn’t even know how famous she was for a minute until recently, ’cause I just always saw her as my cousin,” Patrick shared. “Like, she’s always there, she answers on the first call when I call her. She texts back fast. She’s a person in my life that’s played many roles, you know?”
Patrick said Kandi is “an incredible person” who has been “more like a big-sister-slash-mom” to him than just a cousin. “She’s someone that I look up to, that I wanna be like. She’s one of my main role models by her work ethic and just being a great, high-character individual,” he said. “She paved the way for a lot of the success I had in my life, through supporting me while I was growing up as a kid, through high school with sports, sending me to camps. Even just showing up at games. You know? So, she’s played a major role in my life.”
Patrick will always have a special place in Kandi’s heart, having been named after her brother, Patrick Riley, who passed away after a car accident in 1991. Patrick never got the chance to meet Kandi’s brother, who died before he was born, but he told The Daily Dish that Patrick Riley’s memory “will live on forever.”
Even though Kandi has been a celebrity for decades, there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about her, according to Patrick, including her culinary talents. “She can really cook. She’s a very great cook,” Patrick said. “[Fans] probably think it’s just her mom and her aunts, but Kandi can throw down.”
Patrick’s grandmother, Aunt Bertha, is relatively newer to the world of TV, and she has been nothing but herself on camera from day one. “Man, she’s just like she is on the show, and she really likes [my fiancée, Safari Foxe] a lot. We did Easter at the house, and she was teaching Safari how to make sweet tea on the stove,” Patrick recalled of his recent family holiday. “That’s just really who she is. Like, what they see on TV, that’s Aunt Bertha.”
During the same interview with Patrick, Safari confirmed that Aunt Bertha is “exactly the same” as she is onscreen. “I was actually surprised that she was so nice to me,” Safari recalled. “When I met her, I was a little nervous ’cause I didn’t know how she was gonna react to me, but she’s really sweet to me. So, I love that.”
Safari admitted that Aunt Bertha was the only person she was nervous to meet in Patrick’s family. “But everybody else, it was easy to get to know,” she said. “Everybody loved me and accepted me really easily.”
Getting the chance to share in the experience of Kandi & The Gang with Patrick’s family and the rest of the cast has been “cool” for Safari. Although her life “hasn’t changed a lot” since the show premiered, Safari noted that clients have booked appointments at Body By Safari after seeing her on TV. “But it’s changed a lot for Patrick, ’cause he’s always taking pictures and stuff at work,” she said.
And Patrick has definitely been ready for his close-up. “Yeah, I always knew I was gonna be on TV, so I’ve been preparing myself mentally for this moment. I have been taking a lot more pictures at OLG, and just everywhere I go people start to recognize me now. So that’s a little different. But I love it,” he said. “If I get in an Uber, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, are you the guy on Kandi & The Gang?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s me. Wanna take a picture?’”
Now that Patrick has had a taste of what it’s like to be in the public eye, he’s hoping to stay there. “I love seeing myself on TV. I like seeing myself on every platform,” he said. “I always knew I would be a star.”
Kandi & The Gang is streaming on Peacock and available on the Bravo app.
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