Brandy Norwood

brandy-norwood
Brandy Norwood, better known as simply Brandy, is an American singer and actress. She is one of the best-selling female artists of all-time and of the 1990s.

Brandy was born on a full moon in small town Mississippi, but grew up in Southern California with her parents and brother Ray-J. Brandy’s singing career began early — she was a back-up singer at 11 (for R&B group Immature), won a recording contract at 14, and released her first album, Brandy, at 15. Her acting career was similarly successful with Brandy securing her own sitcom Moesha; the most watched show in UPN history.

Brandy’s self-titled debut album released in 1994 has sold over 7 million copies worldwide and features the hit singles, “I Wanna Be Down” and “Brokenhearted”. Her raspy alto is widely praised, with former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante describing it as, “multi-dimensional… you have to hear her voice with your subconscious.”

But her much-awaited second album was put on hold while Brandy focused on acting. In addition to her role as Moesha, she played Cinderella in a television remake of the classic fairytale in 1997. Singer Whitney Houston, who helped produced the film, starred as her fairy godmother.

brandy-norwoodWhen Brandy finally released her follow-up album it was an even bigger success than her first. 1998’s Never Say Never features the well-known duet, “The Boy Is Mine” with singer Monica and songs “Have You Ever?” and “Almost Doesn’t Count”. The same year she appeared in the film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and worked as a CoverGirl.

After her sophomore album, she took another break from singing, returning in 2002 with Full Moon and a daughter, Sy’rai, from her relationship with producer Robert Smith. Her pregnancy was documented on the MTV reality TV show Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery. She later worked as a judge on the first season of reality talent show America’s Got Talent, but left the show after being involved in a fatal multi-car accident.

Her last two albums Afrodisiac and Human highlighted her journey from a young, inexperienced star to a multifaceted woman who has lived a life speckled with trials and triumphs. On the difference between her first albums and her later albums Brandy says,

“I just wanted to sing my heart out and connect with people. I wasn’t old enough or mature enough before to get into people’s hearts. Now I am.”

Brandy cites Whitney Houston as her number one musical inspiration — Whitney’s music video for, “How Will I Know” spurred Brandy to pursue a professional music career. She is planning on releasing a joint R&B album with her brother Ray-J.

Brandy is first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg and close friend of tennis player Serena Williams and fellow R&B singer Kelly Rowland.

She was NBA star Kobe Bryant’s high school prom date and former fiancée of NBA guard Quentin Richardson.

singer-brandy  brandy-singer  brandy-singer  brandy-norwood

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27 thoughts on “Brandy Norwood

  1. Although I am a huge fan of Brandy, there were some facts that I had no idea about. I had no inkling that she has such close family relation to Snoop Dogg, nor was I familiar with the new album with her brother that’s coming out. Hmmm, Great post Alee. You have me now feening for that album, I can’t wait! I know it’s going to be great. 🙂

  2. Hi Deeone,

    I didn’t know of Brandy’s relation to Snoop Dogg either until I did research for this article. I was really surprised; I had no idea at all. And I consider myself a huge fan of hers too — she is my favorite singer.

    I am not really a fan of Ray-J’s, I have to say. But I listen to anything of Brandy’s, so I’m going to check out the album.

  3. Nkosazana,

    She and Quentin Richardson were actually engaged; I remember she was so “in love” and thought she’d finally found the perfect guy. She even got a tattoo of his face on her back (…which she got changed into a cat after they broke up. Can you see a little bit of it in that second photo? :))

    Vonnie,

    Okay, good, no one knew that. So I feel less alone in my (former) obliviousness.

  4. Don’t know her and she’s got an huge mouth! “All the better to swallow you with, my dear!”. Bloody awesome eyes, she has!.

  5. foosrock,

    You don’t know who Brandy is? How is that possible? She’s an international superstar. 🙂

    I love her smile and yes she does have lovely eyes. (Good thing she changed those eyebrows she used to have back in the ’90s. 😉 )

  6. HAH she got a tattoo of his face? lol what a fool.

    Seriously if I was famous and wanted a relationship that lasted, I’d just look for a non famous quiet kinda guy with a good job who kinda just want to stay out of the famous part, but are willing to do things with you.

    Oh that Quentin guy is he with a white woman now?

    Oh and Alee, I never heard of her before as well 🙂

  7. I’ve always been a fan of Brandy. I have had every album up until Afrodisiac 🙂 She lost me after Afrodisiac though. I still respect her as an artist, I know its hard to reinvent yourself as the years go by. I had no idea she was Snoops 1st cousin, that’s cute!

  8. Nkosazana,

    Yes, Brandy got a tattoo of Quentin’s big head. 🙂

    I’ve always thought getting a tattoo of a partner’s name or face is a really bad idea. But many people do it.

    The last I heard Quentin was with a Dominican (Hispanic) but that was at least a year ago. I don’t pay much attention to him now that’s he not with Brandy, and athletes change girlfriends like they change socks.

    You and foosrock are clueless! Even Mira has heard of Brandy, all the way in Serbia.

  9. Nikisha,

    “I’ve always been a fan of Brandy. I have had every album up until Afrodisiac”

    Same. Every album was great, in it own way. I like Afrodisiac though. It is much different from her previous albums, but it has a “new and current” vibe.

    I didn’t get Human, but I plan to.

  10. You and foosrock are clueless! Even Mira has heard of Brandy, all the way in Serbia.

    I’ve got an “excuse”. Generation?. I grew up on reggae, soca, calypso(even while in the US), then rock/Country/jazz(my ex) and later alternative rock during my early 20s, now techno/electronic in my middle age……
    If she’s RnB, I stopped paying attention to that genre of music when the young’uns took over and made it vulgar!.(plus I truly have no rythmn!)

  11. “………. Even Mira has heard of Brandy, all the way in Serbia.

    Har!. Where did Mira state that?. You’re fibbing Alee.

    Oooooooo, you know, just thought, when you come to Switzerland, we can drive over to see Mira. Serbia isn’t that far away…….(ie, if you drive a couple of days!)

  12. foosrock,

    “I’ve got an “excuse”. Generation?”

    Hmmm… maybe. Although I’m sure Sherry knows of Brandy, and she’s older than you.

    But I guess your location + age + interest in music can add up to buy you a “get out of obliviousness free” card. 😉

    “If she’s RnB, I stopped paying attention to that genre of music when the young’uns took over and made it vulgar!”

    That wasn’t the ’90s was it? More like the early 200s.

    “Har!. Where did Mira state that?. You’re fibbing Alee.”

    Ha, why would I make up something about someone who will definitely see it (or even if they wouldn’t see it)?

    She mentioned on the Best R&B Singers of the ’90s thread that most of the singers on the list were popular in Serbia and she knew them. She said Brandy was known for her hit with Monica, “The Boy Is Mine”. (Honestly, even if you don’t know Brandy, you should still have heard of “The Boy Is Mine”. It’s the most successful female duet ever.)

    I rarely forget what people say. My brain is like a computer when it comes to conversations. 🙂

    P.S. We could visit… if I come to Switzerland!

  13. “I am not really a fan of Ray-J’s, I have to say.”

    He seems to be riding on his sister’s coattails, and doesn’t have a speck of her talent.

    I heard she was on a season of “Dancing With the Stars” and did decently.

  14. I love that beautiful voice of hers and every time I hear it, my high school memories come flooding back. I love her albums but I played the hell out of that song she had on the Waiting to Exhale album.

  15. changingmoods,

    Ray-J does ride on her coattails. From Moesha to his music deal… he wouldn’t be known at all if it wasn’t for her. That line, “Isn’t that Brandy’s brother?” says it all. 🙂

    She was on Dancing with the Stars, though I didn’t see her season since I don’t watch shows like that.

  16. Udara, I love “Sittin’ Up In My Room” too, and more or less every song on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Usually soundtracks aren’t that good! But Babyface wrote and produced nearly all the songs, and it had all the top R&B singers of that day, so it makes sense.

  17. I know some people and some people I don’t know.

    I could ask if you knew a few South African singers/actors 🙂
    Same thing!

    I don’t prefer American media over other. I soak up all kinds of music 🙂

  18. Brandy was great on Dancing with the Stars, though she didn’t make it as far as she should have. She also came off as a little dramatic, but I think some people were eager to label her as such because of sexism–men who want to win a competition are “determined”, women who want the same are “desperate”.

  19. While ‘The Boy is Mine’ was my jam from back in the day Brandy was never a favourite of mine. I always thought between her and Monica, Monica had the better voice. Kinda like Britney and Christina. Brit sells more and is more likeable but Christina has a way better voice. Her vocal talent is decent but I don’t think as strong as others think it is, in my opinion.

    I think if Aaliyah were around people would be saying Brandy who. However what you’ve presented here in terms of her success I have to give her props. Also her brother can go and get another job as the music business is not for him.

  20. Nkosazana,

    “I could ask if you knew a few South African singers/actors 🙂
    Same thing!”

    Not exactly. 🙂

    Jasmin,

    I’ve never thought of Brandy as a dancer, but I might have to check out those past episodes of Dancing with the Stars.

  21. wanderlust,

    Hmmmm… Monica has a great voice and she is one of my favorite singers (or used to be — I’m not a fan of her recent stuff). But her voice is not as unique as Brandy’s. I think because Brandy doesn’t have the usual soprano that people have come to expect from classic female R&B singers, she isn’t given as much credit. But she and Monica is nothing like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera! Christina’s voice is very strong; Monica’s voice is not that strong. And Brandy can sing; she is a singer before a performer.

    “I think if Aaliyah were around people would be saying Brandy who.”

    😯

    What? Sorry, I love Aaliyah and may she rest in peace. But Aaliyah was nowhere near Brandy in terms of singing ability. Good lord, no.

    They were both around in the ’90s and even then people never compared them because Aaliyah simply couldn’t match Brandy. Aaliyah was more on par with a Ciara of today; average voice with great dance moves. Her death allows people to think she was better than she was; musicians who die untimely tend to be hailed as greats when many of them were just so-so.

  22. I still don’t think that Brandy has that strong or good a voice. She can sing, I just don’t see her voice as being special in any way. I was not saying the Brandy v Monica and Brit v Christina comparison is the exact same thing. Just giving an example for greater context. It’s obvious Christina has a very powerful voice, more so than all of them mentioned.

    Aaliyah’s death may allow people to think she was better than she was, but I am not one of them. I truly was a fan, think she had a better voice than Brandy and if still around would have grown to have a really good career. Music is subjective though so we can agree to disagree on this one.

  23. wanderlust,

    “I still don’t think that Brandy has that strong or good a voice.”

    I will convince you, just wait. 😛

    Aaliyah actually showed she could sing in “The One I Gave My Heart To” (love that song). But after that she kind of just whispered talked her way through songs. It was an interesting backsliding.

    “Music is subjective though”

    This is true.

  24. just loving you Brandy no matter wat people says besides rumour are created by haters ,spread by stupids and accepted by idiots

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