Adrienne Bailon Houghton

Adrienne Bailon takes us back to when she was 16 scouted by Ricky Martin and talks ‘All Things Adrienne’

Adrienne Bailon Houghton is the first Latina host of a daytime talk show in the US

Today October 24th is Adrienne Bailon Houghton’s 38th birthday.  The atress, singer, and host has been in the entertainment industry since she was scouted by Ricky Martin singing in her church choir at just 16 years old. As a young woman she inspired Latina’s everywhere that grew up watching her in groups like 3LW and the Cheetah Girls. Now, she has been a host on The Real since 2013 and is the first Latina host of a daytime talk show in the US. Adrienne started her own series on YouTube called All Things Adrienne, and as the naee explains, it’s all about the star. We had the opportunity to visit Adrienne’s home in Beverly Hills during a taping of the series and talk to her about her life, the show, and the advice she would give young women interested in following in her footsteps, and more. Read the special interview below.

I‘m most excited about seeing this new generation, not wait for roles to be handed to them, but to start writing films and productions and become their own producers of their own things.
Adrienne Bailon Houghton©KIN

Thank you again for letting me into your home. So tell me a little about how All Things Adrienne has changed since it started to now.

I think I initially really didn‘t even know what it was going to end up being like. We‘re just having fun and I feel like initially, it was a lot more lifestyle how-to, and now it’s just so much more personal like it‘s things that are going on in my life. It’s been a lot of house tours crazy enough, which I never would have imagined ever. Like I would‘ve thought I just would have stayed in the same house the whole time. We since have done the house in Bel air, the house in Calabasas, the house in Westchester, and now the house here in Beverly Hills.

And you’re bi-coastal so what does that look like right now? You were just telling me how busy you are.

We don‘t get to spend a lot of chill time here. I think that’s the point. This is really a work home. I live in New York. I work in LA. Even when I say that the channel has just become so much more personal, we shared stories like my family going through COVID, the reason why I decided to buy a home in New York, and why that meant so much to me.

So since it‘s going into this more personal side of you, I’m assuming you‘ve learned a lot of things about yourself. Tell me a little about these little revelations you’ve had.

I‘ve changed. I think I’ve really evolved. I think when we first started the channel I would‘ve considered myself someone that never cries. And I joke now that I think I have emotional problems. Like I cry all the time. I’m way more emotive, way more in touch with my feelings. And I think that has to do with just maturing as well. Just becoming more comfortable in my skin. And I think having an audience that knows me and loves me and supports me has meant a whole lot. They relate so much that it doesn‘t make me feel alone.

So you’re by yourself in a lot of episodes. Was being alone on camera something you had to get used to?

No that was never a weird thing to me. I‘ve always been like super comfortable on the camera. I think it was more so deciding what I wanted the channel to be like, ‘how am I going to use this to really be able to connect with my audience, my fans, how am I going to bring them into my home?’ I think specifically during the pandemic when we started self-shooting everything and we didn’t have big productions like this, I actually found that the audience loved it even more because it was that much more personal and much less polished. And that‘s when I actually started loving the channel more than ever because it really became my place to connect with them. And I was in control of everything. Which is different than being on a show with four other people and a whole production. And this is how the show is going to be. This is my greatest form of self-expression.

Adrienne Bailon Houghton©KIN

Yeah, it‘s beautiful and I saw some of your videos of your husband Israel being your videographer. How was that getting to work with each other?

It was fun! I had to tell him not to laugh because he laughs at my jokes. He thinks I‘m funny, but then you’d like, hear him laugh. And then at first, I thought it was like, like, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look like professional.’ And then the audience was like, ’we love knowing that it‘s her husband filming.’ And that it‘s him laughing behind the camera. Like that just made it that much more authentic. And I never saw it that way until then.

So I am of the Cheetah Girl and 3LW generation. That‘s how I watched you and I loved seeing a Latina there. So just like I and a lot of women are still out here pursuing our dreams, what would you say to us?

I would say that what I’m noticing now is so important, which is especially why I love YouTube and all these new platforms that we have from TikTok to Instagram, is you just have to put yourself out there, number one. I think that the coolest thing that I’ve noticed is that now we can use these platforms to pave our own lane. And that‘s what I’m most excited about. I‘m most excited about seeing this new generation, not wait for roles to be handed to them, but to start writing films and productions and become their own producers of their own things, like that is what I’m excited for. I‘m excited that this new generation isn’t just waiting around for someone to be like, ‘I have a script that I put together,’ but that they are actively creating platforms for themselves and actively creating their own. They‘re just being creative on their own, and I love that. So I would say don’t give up. It is possible, I feel like even into your forties and your fifties, you‘re still going to be making your dreams come true. So it’s a journey. It‘s not going to be a straight line there- have fun, enjoy the journey and always be authentically who you are. Cause that’s when the doors that are intended to open for you will open. Not while you‘re trying to be somebody else because their doors are gonna open for them.

That‘s great advice. So you were the first Latina to host a daytime talk show with ‘The Real’ tell me a little about what that accomplishment means to you.

It‘s bitter-sweet. I think every time I hear it, it’s bittersweet because in 2013 I never would have thought that I would be the first Latina in daytime. And like people will argue like, ‘but there was Cristina.’ I‘m like, yes, on Spanish TV. I love me. Some Laura some Christina. It was shocking to me that for the first time in daytime English channel network television, that I’d be the first. There‘s been some in news coverage, but like again, I literally argued with our publicists and I was like, ’please make sure we fact check this before we go saying this like this can‘t be right.’ And when we finally realized it was right, it was bittersweet. It was like damn it took up to 2013 to get us on daytime television. That‘s insane. And at the same time, it is such an honor and such a wild accomplishment. And my greatest hope is that it just kicks the door wide open for every young Latina girl to watch me on TV and go, oh my gosh, if she can do it, I can do it. Like representation is everything.

So take me back to 16-year-old Adrienne when you were getting scouted by Ricky Martin in your church choir. Did you ever think this was going to be possible?

I did not. I did not think it was going to be possible. Even the idea of performing in Madison Square Garden was insane. I remember it’s so crazy because the choir was from my church, but the tour was sponsored by Heineken. Everybody had on these little green flashing buttons that everyone got, so literally the whole Madison Square Garden, like a sea of little green lights. And so I was like, this is insane. I was wildly overcome by this feeling of like, ‘oh my God, I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.’ And oh, so grateful for that moment. I just, even now looking back, I still am obsessed with Ricky Martin. I just saw a picture moved the other day and I‘m like, Ugh, obsessed. And I still just can’t believe it, but I think the most important thing to recognize is like, God is going to put opportunities there for you. And it‘s up to you to take them or not. I remember taking that moment and being like, I’m going to take this as a sign that like, this is what I‘m supposed to do and I’m going to go for it full throttle.

Yeah, and I know your faith is very strong. Do you think that having that strength and that connection is kind of what steered you away from this like “Disney or Nickelodeon curse” or whatever you want to call it?

I do, but I would even credit more my family, I think having a really strong family household was really what got me through. I think recognizing that I had a mom that didn‘t depend on me to keep the house afloat was really important to me. Like she was like, ‘she could lose this job tomorrow. Like I have to keep working.‘ Like my mom literally just retired last year. So I think that I never felt the pressures that I think some of these other children feel. I never felt the pressure I had to be anything other than myself. I never felt the pressure of having to support my family. I was able to genuinely have fun and pursue my dreams and do what I loved and know that I had a family that loved me and support me and that if it didn’t work out, that was okay too. And I think that makes the biggest difference is knowing if this doesn‘t work out, I can still go home and that’s okay.

That‘s true. A lot of parents out here are intense.

No, they’re like get out there and work. And I did not have a stage mom at all, the polar opposite. If I’m honest, she really wanted me to come home, she would have loved for me to come home and like, just go to school, work at Cornell with her and my sister, become like a nurse and RN and call it a day. Stability. Like she would have called it.

So you have so many things to be proud of. I saw how excited you were to see your brand La Voute sell out on its launch and you released the album New Tradiciones in 2017. Can we look forward to more music?

My husband and I are now producing and releasing music on our record label that we‘ve created together. It’s called District 11 and he put out his ‘Feels Like Home’ album on it, which I was on, volume one in volume two. They both went to number one on Billboard, and now we are getting ready to release a new album called “Alive in Los Angeles.” And I‘m singing on that. So we just dropped the single this past Wednesday. We dropped the single it’s called “Cueritos de Corazon” and I am singing on there with Israel and Aaron Moses from Maverick City. And I‘m super excited about it, but we’ve been touring doing pop-up tours with Cafe New Breed and it‘s been super fun and it’s pretty much just something I dreamed up with my husband and it‘s been awesome.

So is there anything else that you want to send us away with? Any messages to your readers?

My message to my readers would be just how grateful I am. I‘m so grateful that people see something in me that they can relate to, that they love. And I’m grateful for the support and just that I can‘t wait to do more.