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

See also:

Best R&B Singers of the ’90s

The 1990s was my all-time favorite period for music. And it was a great period for R&B. The best-selling female R&B group of all time, TLC, were at the height of their career in the ’90s, and the longest-running #1 Billboard hit was a R&B song released during the same period. ’90s R&B continues to be one of my favorite types of music.

This is my personal list of the top 10 best R&B singers and group of the ’90s. The list is based on vocals (range, rhythm, etc) as well as style and quality of music. As always, feel free to make any suggestions.

brandy-norwood

1. Brandy Norwood is an American singer, actress, and songwriter. She is best known as Moesha from the TV show of the same name, and for her hits “The Boy is Mine” and “Have You Ever?”

Brandy has one of the most unique voices and a wide range — she is irreplaceable. She isn’t a soprano like others, but she doesn’t need to be — her raspy voice has just as much power and feeling.

mariah-carey

2. Mariah Carey is an American singer best known for her wide vocal range and series of hit singles, including “Hero” and “One Sweet Day”, a duet with Boyz II Men and the longest-running #1 single in American history.

Mariah’s “My All” is of my favorite songs ever and a classic, like so many of her ’90s ballads. Mariah was at her peak in the ’90s but hasn’t been the same since.

boyz-ii-men

3. Boyz II Men is an American male group and best-selling R&B group ever. Their hits include “End of the Road”, “Four Seasons of Loneliness”,  and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.

There will never be another Boyz II Men. The amazing combination of their voices, lyrics, and production contributed to making nearly every one of their songs historic. Favorite Boyz II Men song? All of them.

whitney-houston

4. Whitney Houston is an American singer and actress and one of the best music artists of all time, based on sales and awards. She covered Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.

Whitney has the classic “singer’s voice”; her songs will be listened to for generations. If you haven’t heard of her, you haven’t been alive for the past few decades.

babyface

5. Babyface, real name Kenneth Edmonds, is an American R&B entrepeneur: prolific singer, songwriter, and producer. In addition to his own hits (including “When Can I See You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes”), he wrote “End of the Road” for Boyz II Men and “Let It Flow” for Toni Braxton.

It is not an overstatement to say that ’90s R&B would not have been without Babyface.

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Brandy and Monica – The Boy Is Mine

My Comments:

One of the best duets of all time, “The Boy Is Mine” topped nearly every chart around the globe. After this single, Brandy and Monica became the official R&B queens of the ’90s.

My sister and I won an after school talent show singing this song; she was Brandy, I was Monica.  She was trying to out-sing me and by the end it was a real mini-rivalry.

Lyrics:

Chorus:
You need to give it up
Had about enough
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine
I’m sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

Brandy:
Think it’s time we got this straight
Sit and talk face to face
There is no way you could mistake
Him for your man are you insane

Monica:
But see I know that you may be
just a bit jealous of me
But you’re blind if you can’t see
That his love is all in me

Brandy:
See I tried to hesitate
I didn’t want to say what he told me
He said without me he couldn’t make it
Through the day, ain’t that a shame

Monica:
But maybe you misunderstood
Cause I can’t see how he could
Wanna change something that’s so good
All my love was all it took
(The boy is mine)

Chorus:
You need to give it up
Had about enough (Enough)
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine (Boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you (Sorry that you)
Seem to be confused (Confused)
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

Monica:
Must you do the things you do
You keep on acting like a fool
You need to know it’s me not you
And if you didn’t know it, girl it’s true

Brandy:
I think that you should realize
And try to understand why
He is a part of my life
I know it’s killing you inside

Monica:
You can say what you wanna say
What we have you can’t take
From the truth you can’t escape
I can tell the real from the fake

Brandy:
When will you get the picture
You’re the past, I’m the future
Get away it’s my time to shine
If you didn’t know the boy is mine

Chorus:
You need to give it up
Had about enough (Enough)
It’s not hard to see
The boy is mine (To see the boy is mine)
I’m sorry that you (Sorry that you)
Seem to be confused (Seem to be confused)
He belongs to me (He belongs to me)
The boy is mine

Monica:
You can’t destroy this love I’ve found
Your silly games I won’t allow
The boy is mine without a doubt
You might as well throw in the towel

Brandy:
What makes you think that he wants you
When I’m the one that brought him to
The special place that’s in my heart
He was my love right from the start

(Monica) Give it on up
(Brandy) Had about enough
(Monica) It’s not hard to see
(Brandy) The boy is mine oh ah…
(Monica) I’m sorry that you
(Brandy) Seem to be confused
(Monica) He belongs to me
(Brandy) No no. You need to give it up
(Monica) About enough
(Brandy) It’s not hard to see
(Monica) The boy is mine
(Brandy) Mine…oh mine
(Monica) You seem to be confused
(Brandy) He belongs to me

(Monica) The boy is mine, not yours
(Brandy) But mine
(Monica) Not yours
(Brandy) But mine
(Monica) Not yours
(Brandy) But mine

I’m sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine!