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Candiace Dillard-Bassett hit a milestone in her music career over the weekend.
"My dreams have come true," Candiace tells PEOPLE of her set, which kicked off a new live concert series at The Sky Bar, the resort's popular rooftop venue. "Music has always been the goal and looking back at the journey I've been on over these past few years to get here as an artist, I just feel so lucky and appreciative for everyone who has supported me along the way."
"In the words of the great Kandi Burruss, 'Bitch, I'm worldwide!' " she joked.
Candiace, who performs simply under that moniker, has been pounding the pavements to make her launch into music a reality ever since she first started showing off her vocals on season 3 of RHOP, when she first joined the franchise.
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At her 2018 wedding to husband Chris Bassett, featured on season 4 of the Bravo series, she sang and recorded the original love ballad "I See You" for Bassett. A go-go remix of the tune featuring Big G and UNO came in April 2020, the song — featuring Candiace's luscious vocals with a more upbeat backing — sparking demand in audiences for a full album.
Deep Space was just that, the LP dropping in September 2021 to much acclaim, reaching over 3 million streams and spawning the hit single "Drive Back." It's an especially gratifying achievement for Candiace, as Real Housewives stars who have previously attempted to launch music careers typically don't go far beyond one-hit-wonder status.
"I knew that I would have a sort of uphill battle," she told PEOPLE last month. "No shade meant to other Housewives, they're doing their thing, but there's this sort of stigma attached to Housewives who sing. 'Oh, look, it's another Housewife that wants to do a song.' So I expected to have to fight against that."
"I've always, in my mind, been an artist. In my heart, I've always been a performer and I wanted that to translate to the Bravo audience, but also just to lovers of music, lovers of artistry and lovers of all things this space," she adds. "So I've tried to be very intentional about how I roll out my music, how I roll out my music videos, how I present myself as an artist such that I'm presenting myself in a way that surpasses just being in the Housewife space."
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The former Miss United States, 35, showed that to a packed house at the Sky Bar over the weekend, as she performed songs off Deep Space and Deep Space Deluxe — her new album that drops Dec. 30.
It's led by the new single, "Insecure," which features a new verse by rapper Trina (RHOP viewers will see the two work on the track's mix on Sunday's episode).
"She really is the baddest bitch and the diamond princess," Candiace says, of working with the rap icon. "I mean, it was impossible not to fangirl over her when we first met because she is one of those female Black women in hip-hop who blazed a trail for all of us, whether you are in the music industry or not. And to top it off, she's down to earth and so, so sweet."
"When I first heard her verse, I fell on the floor. I had chills and I just fell on the floor," Candiace adds. "I listened to it maybe three times before I knew every lyric — and it's not easy! — but I was so enamored with the message. It's flirty, it's cheeky, it's fun, and it's versatile because this is a poppy R&B song, so it shows Trina's versatility. She really was able to elevate it and make this song even better than it was before."
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Fans will get to see a new music video for the song too, which Candiace teases to PEOPLE will be "so, so good."
She's also going back on another City Winery tour early next year, with stops in cities like New York City and Nashville. "I loved working with the folks at City Winery,' Candiace says. "They invited me to do a few more cities next year so I'm really excited about that. I'll probably release details about that at the top of the year."
Until then, Candiace remains on cloud 9, basking in the joy from her concert in The Bahamas.
The SLS Baha Mar was a perfect location for the debut, in Candiace's eyes.
"This is such a beautiful space," she says. "It's celebrating its five-year anniversary right now, and when you're here, you really feel that energy of young, vibrant, sexy, fun, popping resort. From the casinos to the luxury stores to the restaurants, pool parties, lounges, clubs — this is the place to be. And the fact that they asked me to come here and kick it with them is just the cherry on top."