Brandy was born on February 11, 1979, and is a household name in the music industry. Known as the “Vocal Bible” because of her distinct sound, she has sold over 40 million albums as of 2020 and has earned her several awards and accolades. Brandy began her career as a backing vocalist. She, however, signed with Atlantic Records in 1993 and released her debut album the next year. Her acting career began in 1996 in the sitcom “Moesha,” which opened more opportunities for other roles which won her several awards. Her career has had extensive success both in music and acting, and we’re excited to be celebrating her special day with you today.
Brandy Rayana Norwood, famously known as Brandy, has been a household name for decades. The talented artist was born to her father, Willie Norwood, and mother, Sonja Norwood. Her father was a gospel singer and choir director, while her mother ran H&R Block as the district manager. They lived in McComb, Mississippi, together with her younger brother Ray J. Brandy was raised with Christian values and even started singing in her father’s church choir. She attended Hollywood High Performing Arts Center in 1983 when her parents relocated to Carson, California. In 1990, she got a job as the backing vocalist for the R&B boy band Immature after signing with Teaspoon Productions. In 1993, she signed with Atlantic Recording Corporation through her parents while still in talks with East West Records. Her mother resigned from her job and became her manager, and she started homeschooling.
In 1994, she released her first album, self-titled “Brandy,” which attracted a fair level of success. In 1996 she acted in the U.P.N. sitcom, “Moesha,” which won her first award, N.A.A.C.P. Image Award, and flooded other acting opportunities in her direction. Her breakthrough musically, however, came with the single duet she did with R&B contemporary artist Monica, titled ‘The Boy Is Mine,’ in 1998. She also released her second album that year, “Never say Never,” which won her first Grammy Award. In 2002, she released a reality series documenting the birth of her daughter, Sy’rai Smith, titled “Brandy: Special Delivery.” She competed on “Dancing with the Stars” season 11 in 2010, and in the same year, featured in the series “Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business.” In 2015, she debuted in the musical “Chicago” as Roxie Hart on Broadway and as well executive produced and featured in the sitcom “Zoe Ever After,” which premiered in 2016. Her seventh album, “B7,” was proudly her first project as an independent musician.
Brandy has dated a couple of celebrities in her time. She was the girlfriend of the legendary Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers at prom in 1996 before dating Boyz II Men lead singer Wanya Morris and Rapper Mase. In 2001, she got into a relationship with the producer Robert ‘Big Bert’ Smith, and the two had a daughter together. They, however, separated in 2002. In her seventh album, “B7,” she released a single dubbed ‘Bye Bipolar,’ which begins the conversation about how toxic relationships affected her mental health and explains how she suffered from depression and P.T.S.D. but overcame it through therapy, meditation, journaling, and prayer.
In the middle of talks with East West Records, Brandy signs with Atlantic Records through her parents.
She makes her acting debut with the U.P.N .sitcom, “Moesha.”
She releases “Never Say Never,” and it wins her her first Grammy Award.
She returns to television to feature in “Dancing with the Stars,” season 11, and in the reality series “Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business.”
She debuts as Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.”
Not only does she feature in, but also executive produces the sitcom, “Zoe Ever After” on B.E.T.
Why We Love Brandy
Brandy is a pace setter
Being the first African American to be featured in “Cinderella” as Cinderella, the lead role inspired many other African American actors. She worked alongside Whitney Houston, her inspiration growing up, and Whoopi Goldberg. Together with Lana Gordon, they were also the first African American leads in the Musical “Chicago.”
She is philanthropic
She has been involved in numerous foundations and campaigns, especially concerning the youth and underprivileged families. She was marked as the first international spokesman by UNICEF for the youth, which was a big deal. She also began her foundation with her brother, Norwood Kids Foundation, whose goal was to offer the youth the direction they needed.
She values mental health
In her seventh album, “B7,” the last single titled ‘Bye Bipolar,’ she talks about how toxic relationships in her life have affected her mental health. Although she does not suffer from Bipolar disorder, she says she has been through depression and P.T.S.D. She disclaims that she overcame all of it through therapy, journaling, meditation, and prayer.
5 Surprising Facts
She is cousins with Snoop Dogg
Apart from being Ray J’s older sister, she is the first cousin of the legendary rapper.
She was managed by Roc Nation
Once in her career, she was managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management firm.
She turned “Set It Off” down
She turned down the film, which featured Jada Pinkett and Queen Latifah.
She has influenced major artists
Artists like Rihanna and Erykah Badu have referenced Brandy as their influence in their music careers publicly.
She Released “A Family Business” album
Brandy and her family released a compilation album dubbed “A Family Business” outside their reality series, “Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business.”
Who is Brandy married to?
At the end of 2012, Brandy became engaged to music executive Ryan Press.
How old was Brandy when she had her daughter?
When Brandy was just 25 years old, she gave birth to Sy’rai Smith, who is her child with producer Big Bert. Her pregnancy with her daughter was very publicized. She had her own show on M.T.V. called “Brandy: Special Delivery,” which followed her experience with expecting and having a baby.
How many records did Brandy sell?
Brandy has sold over 8.6 million albums in the United States and more than 40 million records worldwide.
Brandy’s birthday dates