Wendy Williams has forged her own path in radio show entertainment by dishing the latest dirt on celebrities, including herself. From battling a weight issue to a drug addiction, she has seen and been through it all. Since her first appearance on the radio nearly 20 years ago, Wendys main focus is to bring her favorite thing to listeners everywhere: the talk.
During her afternoon drive-time show, The Wendy Williams Experience on New York Citys WBLS-FM, shes on the loose. In a rapid-fire voice thats all brass and sass, she bounces from gossip to advice, to in-your-face commentary, to interviews. Sometimes she even spins a song or two. No matter what the topic, you can bet it will be blunt and entertaining.
Wendys creative media savvy landed her a series of specials on VH-1, Wendy Williams Is on Fire and the syndicated radio show Wendy Williams Down Low. She wrote two top selling books, a 2003 memoir titled Wendys Got the Heat, and The Wendy Williams Experience, a compilation of her interviews.
She also recently dropped her own compilation album, Wendy Williams Brings The Heat Vol. 1, which features songs from some of the freshest talent in urban music. AllHipHop.com Alternatives got a chance to sit down with the Queen of Dish to discuss her role in the making of her cd, her career, and run-ins with celebrity guests such as Whitney Houston and Terry McMillan.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: With so many accomplishments in radio and a show on VH-1, what made you want to release a compilation cd?
Wendy: Well I just decided one day that it would be cool of I just created a cd full of artists that I listen to. I love MOP, I love Black Rob, I have always been a fan of just the gritty and grimy Hip-Hop as well as Marques Houston and Amerie, so I just decided to create a cd compiled with artists that I listen to.
AHHA: Given your reputation of tell all, was it hard for you to get artists to agree to do the compilation?
Wendy: Actually it wasnt, I just called everyone I knew and they were all excited and very helpful. I love the song Naked by Marques Houston, and I dont feel that it received the spins it deserved when it first came out, so I think that it was cool that Marques [Houston] gave me the song. I was actually flattered that the other artists actually created songs just for me, for them to take time out to go into the studio and record for my cd says a lot to me.
AHHA: You have been upfront with a lot of celebrities, but the wildest of all had to be Whitney Houston. Although it was a call in interview, how did you feel hearing the responses and threats she said to you?
Wendy: I never felt at all that Whitney would do anything to me, not once. But when I asked her what I did, it was said out of concern. I know that people wanted to know, but really we all knew.
AHHA: Have you ever been afraid that anyone would hurt you physically or try to get at you in a public way over some of your comments?
Wendy: No, not really. I mean I really dont enjoy making people upset and it really is hard for me to ask the questions that I ask, but we are on a talk show and people want to know about people. So at first it was hard for people to understand what I was doing, but now celebrities come on with the expectation. As far as someone saying something about to try and humiliate me, my question is, What can they say? I mean I have put all of my business out there for my listeners, as well as told a lot of my deepest feelings and tragedies in my book, so really I have already put it out there. Theres really nothing anyone can say about me that I wont say first.
AHHA: You look phenomenal. What is your secret to your new look?
Wendy: Plastic surgery, diet and exercise. I am not ashamed to say that I have had a little work done, but I also dieted and worked my butt off, so I still earned it and I feel good.
AHHA: Now I have to ask you, what is your take on the Terry McMillan situation?
Wendy: Oh my gosh, Terry [McMillan] should be ashamed of herself for acting the way she is. I mean when she wrote her books, we [as Black females] went out and snatched those books off the shelves, when they were turned into movies, we were going in droves to see them, because she was an inspiration. She told us how to let go of that man and form a solidarity with our girlfriends, so for her to act like this [over her man who is younger and gay] is crazy. I mean, keeping it real, she is a few years older than I am, and her man was what, 22? There is no way a young man is pulling anything over on me sexually, so if she didnt know thats on her. But making a scene like this, throwing fits and calling names, she really needs to grow up.
AHHA: You have interviewed everyone from Queen Latifah to Suge Knight and were always upfront with all of them. Are there any celebs that you wouldnt talk about?
Wendy: No, because that is what a talk show is for, to talk and for people to feel like they are talking to a best friend and to help people see that they are not alone. I mean obviously if a celebrity has had a miscarriage or was recently divorced, I wont just dive in like, So are you giving the pregnancy another try? You know, I have tact. Also I wont ask questions about break-ups if their kids are in there, because kids are like my kryptonite. One time, Master P brought Lil Romeo before he was a teenager and was rapping to the studio and I couldnt ask any questions because I just kept looking at his little face, so the best way to avoid my questions is to bring kids with you. [laughs]
AHHA: Its no secret that you battled with drugs in the past as a form of dealing with pressure. What advice can you give to women who are stretched thin in their careers?
Wendy: All I can say is that my choices are all something that I learned from. Now I deal with stress by talking to the viewers - I tell them everything. In all actuality, my favorite shows arent the ones with celebrities, but the ones with real people calling in and talking to me. I love being able to get everything out and putting all of me out there, because that way listeners really get a chance to know me, just like I am getting a chance to know them. I guess the best advice would be to find an outlet and love yourself, because no one else will love you if you dont.
AHHA: What is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
Wendy: That I am a bitch or a gossip. I really dont gossip. I just feel that if there is something that you have been through, you should share to help someone else. I really enjoy talking, but because I talk so much all day, when people see me late at night they feel I should still be talking, but I am really out of things to say because I said everything on my show.
AHHA: You have inspired a lot of young women in the industry. What do you want people to know about what it is you are trying to do?
Wendy: I want people to know that I am really trying to keep radio real. I love to talk to people and I love what I do. I think its truly amazing for people to say I inspire them. I love to be peoples inspiration, because that in essence gives them what they need to go out and do great things. Just know that I am going to always keep it real and keep bringing the heat, because thats all I know how to do.