Brandy

  • R&B singer and songwriter born Brandy Norwood in 1979 from McComb Mississippi.
  • Norwood’s father was a gospel singer and choir director. She was singing in her church choir by the age of two. Her family moved to California when she was four years old and she attended school at the Hollywood Hills Performing Arts Center. She became more interested in singing after hearing Whitney Houston perform, and she entered talent shows when she was eleven. Soon, she was singing backing vocals for the R&B boy band Immature, and in 1993, she signed a recording contract after auditioning for the label’s talent director.
  • Her self titled debut album was released in 1994. Fifteen year old Brandy co-wrote five of the songs on the album, and three singles from the album were top 10 hits on the Hot 100 chart, with I Wanna Be Down and Baby both reaching #1 on the R&B chart, while Brokenhearted reached #2 on the R&B chart. The album was certified 4x platinum, and she was nominated for two Grammy awards. Her success led to her choice as the opening act for the Boyz II Men national tour, and she contributed songs to the soundtracks of Batman Forever, Set It Off and Waiting to Exhale. The single Sittin’ Up In My Room from the latter film reached #2 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts.
  • Her second studio album, Never Say Never, was released in 1998. It became her most successful album, certified 5x platinum, with two singles topping the Hot 100 chart – The Boy Is Mine (a duet with Monica) and Have You Ever?. The Boy is Mine was the best selling single by a female duo of all time, remaining atop the Hot 100 for 13 weeks and winning the Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
  • In 2002, she released her platinum-selling album Full Moon. It included her last top 20 hits on the Hot 100 chart, What About Us? and the title track. Four more albums were released between 2004 and 2020. Her most popular single from these albums was in 2013, when Put It Down (featuring Chris Brown) peaked at #3 on the R&B chart.
  • One reason why she did not released more albums was because of her many roles as an actress. In 1996, Brandy was chosen to star in the television show Moesha, which ran for 127 episode over six seasons. She performed in many other shows, with roles in seven films, over 30 television programs, and the lead role of Roxie in Broadway’s 2015 revival of Chicago.
  • Here’s an interesting trivia bit – Brandy was the date for Kobe Bryant in 1996 at Kobe’s prom at Lower Marion High School his senior year.
  • Brandy has sold over 40 million records worldwide. Billboard ranked her in the top 20 of the Top Pop Artists of the 90s. She was credited as one of the early influencers of the Alternative R&B genre – artists like Erykah Badu and H.E.R. acknowledge Brandy’s influence on their styles. Only eleven other songs remained at #1 longer than The Boy Is Mine did, and it was ranked #8 on Billboard’s list of the most successful songs of the 90s. After Brandy co-wrote the song, she requested that Monica sing it with her as a duet. Over time, the collaboration turned into a rivalry, with the pair exchanging blows during a rehearsal at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards show. Here’s the video of The Boy Is Mine.

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