Brandy Norwood: The Princess of R&B

By: Alexia Khalil

Brandy Rayana Norwood

Born in McComb, Mississippi, Brandy Norwood began singing as early as two years old in her small town church home. At age four, her father become the director of the church choir in Carson, California and just a few years later, Brandy knew in her heart that music was going to be a huge part of her life. Inspired by the late and lovely Whitney Houston, Brandy set out to start a professional singing career. With her families unconditional support, Brandy begins the hunt for a record deal and actually lands a job as a backup singer for a group called Immature. All the while she is also becoming interested in acting and enrolls in Hollywood High Performing Arts Center. She goes on to achieve a notable career in acting, however music remained her main focus and first love.

Professional Career

At the age of 14, Brandy finally solidifies a record deal with Atlantic Records. Not too long after, in 1994, Brandy released her debut self titled album. This art piece produced several Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten hits, including records like “I Wanna Be Down” and “Baby”. In fact, both of these hits won them a #1 spot on the R&B/hip-hop charts. The album became quadruple platinum in its first two years. Following that, her hit single “Sittin Up in My Room” hit #1 on R&B/hip-hop and #2 in pop. Followed by these grand achievements Brandy took a short hiatus from her music career and focuses on her acting when she lands an impactful role in Disney’s evolved version of Cinderella as the main character. She also got the opportunity to play this role alongside her idol, Whitney Houston, who acted as her godmother. In 1998 Brandy release her second album Never Say Never, with substantial hits like “The Boy Is Mine,” “Top of the World,” “Have You Ever”. In 2002 and 2004 she dropped two albums Full Moon and Afrodisiac. Both albums awarded her grammy nominations for Best Contemporary R&B Album. In 2008 she released Human and in 2012 she released Two Eleven, both projects going Top Ten in R&B/hip-hop category. Her musical output lessened overtime and limited her to a few singles and feature projects before releasing her seventh album B7 in 2020.

The Influenced / The Contemporaries

  • Janet Jackson
  • TLC
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Toni Braxton
  • Mariah Carey
  • Aaliyah 
  • Monica
  • Destiny Childs
  • Xscape 
  • Tamia


Brandy (1994)

Never Say Never (1998)

Full Moon (2002)

Afrodisiac (2004)

Human (2008)

Two Eleven (2012)

B7 (2020)


  1. “Brandy: Biography & History.” AllMusic,
  2. “Brandy.” April 17, 1999
  3. “BET/Video Soul Chat with Brandy.” 9 April 1999.
  4. “Brandy Celebrates 18th birthday.” Jet v. 91. 14 April 1997: 22-23.
  5. “Brandy.” April 17, 1999.
  6. “Brandy’s Biography.” April 15 1999.
  7. “Brandy Comes of Age.” People Weekly. March 24, 1997: 119-120.
  8. “Brandy and Monica’s managers deny backstage fight.” Jet. v. 94. 5 Oct. 1998: 39-40.

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