Brandy Norwood was born in February 1979 in Mississippi but raised in California. As the daughter of a former gospel singer and choir director, Brandy was raised in a Christian home and began singing in her father’s local church choir. She attended the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center where her love of music and performing increased. It was there that Brandy became a fan of the late Whitney Houston and aspired to follow in her footsteps. She began entering talent shows and joined a youth singing group. It was during this part of Brandy’s life that she began signing background for the 90s R&B group, Immature, and caught the attention of Atlantic Records. Her parents arranged a contract for Brandy to sign with Atlantic, and Brandy’s music career took off. Her mother quit her job to become Brandy’s full time manager, and Brandy dropped out of school in the tenth grade and was home schooled from then on.
Brandy began working on her first album, “Brandy” which debuted in 1994 and peaked at 22 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album went on to sell six million copies worldwide, producing three top ten hits including, “I Wanna Be Down” and “Baby’. The album earned Brandy two Grammy Award nominations for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”. The following year, she received her very first recognition as a musician as she won four Soul Train Music Awards and two Billboard Music Awards.
During that time, Brandy also began her acting career when she landed her own show on UPN, “Moesha”. The show became the most watched show on the television network, which earned Brandy a “NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Youth” for her performance as Moesha. Her acting career took off following her role as Moesha as she was hand picked to play alongside Whitney Houston in the television version of “Cinderella” which was a dream come true for Brandy. While she developed her acting career, Brandy also continued working on her music and during this time, dropped her next album, “Never Say Never” featuring a duet with Monica, “The Boy Is Mine”, followed by “Full Moon”, “Afrodisiac” and “Human”.
Brandy took a brief hiatus from the limelight after the birth of her daughter, Sy’rai in 2002 and her involvement in a fatal car accident in 2006 but returned to television in 2010 with her Vh1 reality show, “Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business”. The show followed the lives of Brandy, Ray J and their parents throughout their ups and downs. The show lasted for two seasons before it was canceled. Brandy later went on to earn a role on BET television sitcom, “The Game”, in 2012 playing the role of “Chardonnay” and in October 2012, released her sixth studio album, “Two Eleven” featuring her number one hit, “Put It Down” with Chris Brown. Brandy’s successful music career has earned her a Grammy Award, countless MTV, American Music, Billboard, NAACP and BMI Awards. She has appeared in countless television shows and movies including “I Know What You Did Last Sumer”, 90210”, “New York Undercover”, “The Parkers” and a role on the upcoming Tyler Perry movie, “The Marriage Counselor”, earning her the title of a triple threat: a successful singer, performer and actress.