What Happened to Brandy?
Brandy Norwood was born on February 11th, 1979. She was born in Mississippi but grew up in Carson, Ca in since 1983. Music was a huge part of her family and she followed into those footsteps at a very young age. Whitney Houston was Brandy’s role model and she wanted to be just like her when she grew up. She entered into plenty of talent shows by the age 11 and was a part of a youth singing group. By 1990, Brandy signed her first contract with Teaspoon Productions. Her first job was as a backup vocalist for their R&B boy band Immature. Moving on to 1993, she now earned a new contract with Atlantic Records. Brandy’s mom soon resigned from her job to become her daughter’s manager. She also dropped out of Hollywood High School and was home schooled from the tenth grade on.
Brandy was not only a talented singer but made her debut on sitcom Thea, but this show only aired for one season. The cancellation of the show was fine with her because she got to focus on her main passion, which was music. In 1994, she released her self titled debut album and it peaked at number 20 on the U.S Billboard 200 chart. After her successful album was released she was compared to Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige. This album sold over six million copies worldwide and produced three top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Her singles “I Wanna Be” and “Baby” were certified gold and platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and also were top singles in the Hot R&B Singles chart. She was nominated for two grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and won four Soul Train Music Awards, two Billboard Awards and the New York Children’s Choice Award. In 1995, she went on tour with Boyz II Men and was the opening act. She appeared on Batman Forever and Waiting to Exhale’s movie soundtrack with her single “Sittin’ Up in My Room.” The following year, she appeared on another movie soundtrack for Set It Off with a collaborated single “Missing You.”
She started to exercise her acting skills once more after landing a title role on the sitcom Moesha in 1996. This sitcom became popular and was the most watched show on CBS. Due to the success, they created a spin-off titled The Parkers, but it was cancelled after six seasons. Brandy won the NAACP’s Image Award for Outstanding Youth Actress. In 1997, the Norwood family started The Norwood Kids Foundation, and their mission was to help at-risk youths in LA and Mississippi through art and self-help programs.
Going into 1997, Brandy was picked by Whitney Houston to star in her new version of Cinderella. The movie had over 60 million viewers tune in to the Wonderful World of Disney special. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program the next year.
Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins co-wrote and produced six songs for her next album Never Say Never. “The Boy Is Mine” was her first number one song on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 chart. She teamed up with Monica and it also became the most successful song by a female duet in music history. The single spent a record breaking 13 weeks in the Billboard charts and a won grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo with Vocal.
In June of 1998, Never Say Never released and became her biggest-selling album selling over 16 million copies worldwide. This album featured “Have You Ever?” became her second number one song. She went on tour internationally and had consistently sold out shows. Brandy made her movie debut in Still Know What You Did Last Summer. The movie made $16.5 million in the opening week, but critics were tough and labeled the film as disappointing. They weren’t too tough on Brandy though because she won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award and MTV Movie Award nomination for the Best Breakout Female Performance. She performed for other films such as Double Platinum with Diana Ross and appeared in VH1’s Divas Live ‘99, alongside Whitney Houston, Tina Turner and Cher.
Brandy decided to return to music in 2001 after many tabloids targeted her long-term battle with dehydration. Her and Ray J recorded a cover to Phil Collin’s 1990 hit “Another Day in Paradise '' and quickly received top ten entries on most top charts internationally. Brandy released her third album Full Moon in February of 2002. “What About Us” hit the top ten worldwide and was a major hit. After this album, her and Robert Smith began writing and producing for artists such as Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland and Kiley Dean. She stepped away from music for a while and made an appearance into reality TV next with a MTV series Diary Presents: Special Delivery. The show was about her final months of pregnancy as she gave birth to her daughter.
Brandy came back into the music world in 2004 to release her fourth album Afrodisiac. This was her most critically acclaimed album and was compared to Janet Jackson at her best. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. “Talk About Our Love” had some success in the U.K and reached number six, but the other singles didn’t receive much notice.
Brandy decided to leave Atlantic Records in 2004, but gave her fans one last record The Best of Brandy that was released in March of 2005. There was no promotion for this record, but it reached top 30 in Australia, the U.K, and the U.S. In 2006, she went back to television and appeared on UPN sitcom One on One as the sister to brother Ray J, who played D-Mack. Later on in the year, she was a judge on the first season of America's Got Talent. She didn’t appear on the next season after being involved in a fatal car accident.
Her fifth album Human was released in December 2008. It was distributed by Koch Records and Sony Music and was her debut album with Epic Records. She was reunited with mentor Rodney Jerkins and he wrote and executively produced most of the album. Human sold 73,000 copies in the first week, but it wasn’t as successful as her previous albums. Her single “Right Here” was the biggest success on the album. The disappointment of this album led to the end of her contract with the label. She appeared on Timbaland’s Album Timbaland Presents Shock Value 2 with only two credits.
Going back into television, once again, Brandy and Ray J debuted another reality series on VH1 called Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business with their parents involved in the show as well. The show renewed for a second season, and the family released A Family Business album, but it failed to chart. Brandy appeared on season 11 of Dancing with the Stars and placed fourth in the competition, which critics and fans were disappointed with. In August 2011 she signed a joint record deal with RCA Records and Chameleon Records. Next, she made an appearance on a new talent show called Majors and Minors. The show offered young performs the chance to be mentored by well known established artists. She also joined the cast of BET’s series The Game.
Making a comeback into the music world, Brandy released a hit single “Put It down” featuring Chris Brown in 2012. This was her first top ten entry in ten years. Her sixth album was released Two Eleven and had some success. In March 2013, she appeared in Tyler Perry’s Temptation. At the 2014 BET Awards, she performed “I Wanna Be Down” in collaboration with Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Yo-Yo. After Brandy finished her final season on The Game she made her way to Broadway and performed in Chicago the musical. She continued her music and acting journey and appeared in Star a Fox musical drama.
Recently, Brandy released her seventh album B7, her first album in eight years. She released this album on her own label Brand Nu Inc, with distribution handled by eOne Music. She co-wrote and co-produced most of the album. “Baby Mama” which featured Chance the Rapper, and “Borderline” are some of the hit singles. She made a historic comeback that her fans have been waiting for for a VERY long time. And to add on to the excitement, she announced a Verzuz battle against Monica that will take place on August 31st, 2020.
How excited are you about Brandy’s remarkable comeback?? 2020 has been full of surprises but this one has definitely made the year that much better!