Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), known professionally as Brandy, is a R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, television entertainer, actress, and film producer. In 2009, she introduced her rap alter-ego Bran’Nu.
Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, Norwood first appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom “Thea” in 1993. This led to her own star vehicle, successful UPN sitcom “Moesha” in 1996, and resulted in roles in the 1998 horror sequel “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” and the TV films Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” (1997) and “Double Platinum” (1999), two of television’s best rated special programs.
Originally signed to Atlantic Records, Norwood’s self-titled debut album was released in September 1994 stateside, and sold over six million copies worldwide. It produced the three top ten singles “I Wanna Be Down,” “Baby,” and “Brokenhearted,” of which all were certified gold and platinum, respectively.
Brandy – I Wanna Be Down (Video)
Her second album “Never Say Never” was released in 1998 and enjoyed major international chart success. Pushed by its number-one hits “The Boy Is Mine,” a Grammy Award-winning duet with singer Monica, and “Have You Ever?,” it went on to sell more than 16 million copies worldwide, becoming Brandy’s best-selling album to date, and established her as one of the most successful of the new breed of urban R&B female vocalists to emerge during the mid-to late 1990s.
Follow-up album “Full Moon” was released in 2002 and certified platinum by the RIAA. It spawned the top ten hit “What About Us?” alongside two other singles. “Afrodisiac,” Brandy’s critically-acclaimed fourth studio album, was released in 2004 and while it was certified gold in the United States, the album failed on international music markets.
Following another hiatus and a label shift to Epic Records, the singer’s fifth studio album “Human” was released in December 2008. Her lowest-selling effort to date – the album spawned two singles of which both reached the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
The RIAA ranks Norwood as one of the best-selling female artists in American music history, having sold over 10.7 million copies of her five studio albums in the United States and over 30 million records worldwide, to date. Additionally, she has won over 100 awards as a recording artist. In 1999, Billboard ranked Norwood among the top 20 of the top pop artists of the 1990s.