When it comes to Bravo’s wildly popular Real Housewives franchise, viewers can expect a few sure things while watching: High drama. Over-the-top displays of luxury. Crazy, conflict-ridden international trips. And, usually, really bad solo music endeavors from the leading ladies themselves.
But not every Housewives pop wannabe is a flop.
Over the years, the Real Housewives have delivered their fair share of ridiculous songs, from “Tardy For the Party” to “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” but the reality TV series has also introduced fans to a handful of legitimate music careers from the women of Beverly Hills, Atlanta and more.
And even the bad songs aren’t always that bad.
We dove into the musical aspirations and output of every Real Housewife who’s ever officially released a song—or at least something that faintly passes for one—in our definitive ranking, below.
Much like her 2009 White House state dinner gate-crashing incident, Real Housewives of D.C.‘s Michaele’s one and only pop offering, 2011’s “Bump It,” is messy and tacky. Girl, bye.
Note to all Housewives everywhere: Not every meme-worthy clapback needs to live on in song form. (That’s what GIFs are for!) In 2011, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield dropped “Who Gon’ Check Me, Boo?,” a hip-hop diss track based on her legendary onscreen fight with a combative party planner. Unlike the now-iconic line, the track is totally boring.
In 2012, Real Housewives of Miami‘s Adriana released “Feel the Rush,” an ode to South Beach in the form of an EDM track as generic and forgettable as Bravo’s since-cancelled Florida installment.
After she clapped back at her haters (okay, it was Porsha) with a confident declaration that she was “gone with the wind fabulous” while simultaneously—and bizarrely—twirling around in an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kenya decided to capitalize on the entertaining TV moment with a “song.” Granted, the track is played for pure tongue-in-cheek, but “Gone With the Wind Fabulous” is… kinda unpleasant.
It’s mostly just a chaotic flurry of beats featuring Kenya’s disembodied voice repeating the words “twirl” and “gone with the wind fabulous” over and over. (Hey, at least Beyonce’s a fan!)
You have to hand it to her: Former Real Housewives of Orange County member Gretchen Rossi really tried it with her singing career. Even after completely tanking while performing with the Pussycat Dolls in Las Vegas, tone-deaf Gretchen continued to release songs, some of which were wholly embarrassing—like “The Time Is Now,” her 2013 proposal ballad to Slade Smiley—and others which were shrug-inducing at best.
To her credit, Gretchen’s 2012 song “Unbreakable” did come from a good place: it was inspired by Slade’s son’s battle with cancer.
In 2010, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle left the series’ table-flipping drama behind her and made a desperate bid for pop stardom, recording two awkward singles with her then-partner, songwriter Lori Michaels: “Cry,” a sappy piano ballad, and “Real Close,” a “very sexy, very raw” duet—as she described it to People—that apparently warranted three renditions. (“Tortured lullaby version”—is that a promise or a threat, Danielle?)
Danielle and Lori even delivered a surreal, slightly uncomfortable performance of the track on Watch What Happens Live, solidifying it as a staple of the Real Housewives’ ongoing musical legacy.
In 2008, Jo De La Rosa, a former Real Housewives of Orange County cast member who left after Season 2, dropped an album called Unscripted. She doesn’t seem to have continued her pursuit of music over the past decade, with good reason: the album is a collection of cheap electro beats, outdated pop rock melodies, trite lyrics (there’s a song called “Seductively”) and unbearably thin vocals.
In 2014, Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Porsha dipped her toes into music-making with a dramatic R&B ballad called “Flatline.” Unfortunately, thanks to Porsha’s mostly lifeless delivery and tired production, the song did just that. (Hey, at least they tried to inject a compelling narrative into the music video!)
Long before she was a fleeting cast member on Season 8 of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim was a child star on television staples like Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, as well as a burgeoning pop star. In 1984, Kim earned a minor club hit with “He Loves Me He Loves Me Not,” an adorable disco track that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Madonna or Tiffany album. The same year she also released “Dear Michael,” a jazzy R&B love song.
You can’t say Melissa wasn’t, at the very least, committed to being a pop star. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star even had a studio installed her sprawling Montville, NJ home! In 2011, Melissa released her autobiographical (were the tabloids really chasing her yet, though?), ultra AutoTuned debut single, “On Display.”
Thin, outdated electronic production and Melissa’s flat performance didn’t stop the dance-pop song from being a mild bop. And although it looks like the Envy boutique owner has since abandoned her pop star ambitions, she did release a handful of somewhat decent club tracks over the next few years, from her surprisingly earnest 2012 R&B ballad “How Many Times,” to 2012’s pulsating “I Just Wanna” featuring Santino Noir. (Who?)
One of Bravo’s most well-known Housewives songs, the super AutoTuned “Money Can’t Buy You Class” is an EDM ode to class and sophistication from New York‘s reigning sorta-royal, LuAnn de Lesseps. Its “fabulous and feminine” follow up, “Chic, C’est La Vie,” is just as infectious and ridiculous, with a smoky-voiced LuAnn speak-singing about gold, diamonds and caviar while her RHONY gal pals make silly cameos.
Yes, the music is cringe-y and the singing doesn’t really qualify as such, but it’s also fun, tongue-in-cheek, and even garnered a proper release from Ultra Records. Elegance is learned, my friends — and if money can’t buy you class, it can certainly score you a record deal.
Countess LuAnn may be the Queen of Class, but when it comes to party etiquette, Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Kim Zolciak is the leading expert. In 2009, Kim released her now-iconic, mind-numbing dance jam “Tardy for the Party,” which subsequently served as the inspiration for her own successful Bravo spinoff series, Don’t Be Tardy for the Party, in 2012.
The vapid club anthem went on to become one of the Real Housewives franchise’s most successful singles, and in 2012, Kim released an equally cringe-worthy follow up, called “Google Me.”
Boasting the longest music career of the bunch, Kandi Burruss knows how to pen a hit. Throughout the ’90s, Kandi was part of the critically and commercially successful R&B girl group Xscape. (After disbanding in the mid 2000s, the group reformed in early 2017, but by November Kandi had left again.)
As a solo singer, Kandi scored a hit in 2000 with “Don’t Think I’m Not,” which reached No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star also found great success writing tracks for other singers, including TLC’s “No Scrubs,” Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” and, another song on this list, Kim Zolciak’s “Tardy for the Party.” She even has a co-writing credit on Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.”
She’s may be an “enigma wrapped in a riddle and cash,” but Erika Jayne is also a bona fide dance music star, one with a successful career that began long before her days hanging out on Rodeo Drive with Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump.
Prior to her casting on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika was (and still is) a certified dance-pop diva: She launched her first Billboard Hot Dance Club Play No. 1 dance single “Rollercoaster” in 2007, dropped a full-length electro-pop album, Pretty Mess, in 2009, and is currently ranked No. 42 on Billboard’s 100 Greatest of All Time Dance Club Artists. Her most recent output, 2017’s club jam “EXXPEN$IVE,” is a completely contagious testament to her talent.