Brandy Norwood
American entertainer
Brandy Norwood
Brandy Rayana Norwood, known professionally as Brandy or Bran'Nu, is an American recording artist and actress. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, Norwood enrolled in performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing competitions as a child. She first appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea in 1993.
Brandy Norwood's personal information overview.
News abour Brandy Norwood from around the web
How Modern Cinderella Adaptations Have Given The Tale's Outdated Feminism A Makeover
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Even with Egyptian and European roots, Cinderella is one of American culture's most famous folktales. Decades after Mary Pickford portrayed the hapless scullery maid in 1914's silent film and Disney popularized the story in 1950's celebrated singalong, the latest adaptation topped the box office last weekend, collecting a fancy $70.1 million across North America. But in the years since "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" became a rite of passage for 4-year-olds everywhere, stories based on the Cinderella archetype have had to determine whether to redraft the fairytale for an increasingly feminist audience. The new movie, "Cinderella," written by Chris Weitz ("About a Boy," "The Golden Compass") and directed by Kenneth Branagh ("Hamlet," "Thor"), borrows a note that certain other adaptations have played: the prince (Richard Madden, aka Robb Stark on "Game of Thrones") first encounters Cinderella (Lily James, aka Rose on "Downton Abbey") in everyday garb before the ball has even been announced. “She ...
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Huffington Post article
Brandy Performs Surprise Concert for 40 in 90,000 Seat Stadium
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Greg Gilman LOS ANGELES ( - Singer and actress Brandy Norwood gave a surprise performance in South Africa last Saturday during the Nelson Mandela Sports & Cultural day music concert, but there was one minor problem: Only 40 people were left in the 90,000-seat stadium to watch. The media just picked up on the unfortunate turnout Wednesday through Twitter chatter from the few who stayed to watch Norwood sing to - as South African musician Kabomo described - "an empty stadium. ...
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Yahoo News article
Danai P. Maraire: Tyler Perry's Temptation: An Interview With the Cast
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Tyler Perry's Temptation hit theaters last weekend and opened to a friendly box office, with an impressive number of tickets sold. Though the title didn't open at number one, no doubt, Mr. Perry's still pleased with second place. reports: Perry's Temptation took in an impressive $22.3 million at the box office over the weekend, the writer-director's ninth film to open at more than $20 million, which puts him in some fast company. Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis are the only other directors to manage the feat, according to Box Office Mojo. Temptation, formerly titled The Marriage Counselor, suffered initial controversy due to Kim Kardashian's involvement. An uproar ensued from Tyler Perry devotees after Kim's announced involvement in the film followed the announcement that she was filing for divorce from Kris Humphries after just 72 days of marriage. The hubbub sent Perry running to defend his decision to cast the reality star and led to a slight renamin ...
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Huffington Post article
A Huge Opening For 'G.I. Joe'
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" won the box office this weekend, opening to $41.2 million. The long-awaited "G.I. Joe" sequel opened at 3,719 theaters. Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, RZA, and Jonathan Pryce, among others, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" received a CinemaScore of A- from moviegoers. The film, which earned mixed reviews from critics, had a production budget of $135 million. "The Croods" continued its successful run, taking the number two spot at the box office. The animated flick made $26.5 million across 4,065 theaters. Starring the voices of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Nicolas Cage, "The Croods" has reached a total domestic gross of $88.6 million since its Mar. 22 release. Also opening this week was "Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor," which came in third at the box office this weekend. The drama, which features Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood, and Kim Kardashian, among others, grossed $22.3 million acr ...
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Huffington Post article
Mike Ryan: How Bonkers Is Tyler Perry's New Movie?
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Today, a new movie directed by Tyler Perry (Star Trek) that conveniently has the director's name in the title, Tyler Perry's Temptation -- or, if you want to be a real stickler, Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor -- is playing at your local multiplex. Since it wasn't screened for press, I became one of 37 people on Thursday night to purchase a ticket for the 10:00 p.m. showing near Union Square in New York City. As a service, I went ahead and answered every question you could possibly have about Tyler Perry's Temptation. Q: Is Tyler Perry's Temptation bonkers? A: Well, the out-of-nowhere ending certainly is bonkers. The first 90 percent of movie is just boring. Q: How boring is Tyler Perry's Temptation? A: Honestly, I have not been this bored in a movie theater since I was 6 years old and saw Ordinary People. Q: Ordinary People won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Are you saying Tyler Perry's Temptation is reminiscent of Ordina ...
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Huffington Post article
Marco / X17 Online: BRANDY NORWOOD GETS ENGAGED TO MUSIC EXECUTIVE BOYFRIEND  —  Brandy Norwood is ready to walk down the aisle!  —  The sexy 33-year-old R&B songstress is now engaged to music executive boyfriend Ryan Press.  —  The twosome have been an item since last year.
Article Link: article
R&B singer Brandy engaged to music executive
Yahoo News - about 4 years
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer and actress Brandy Norwood is engaged to music executive Ryan Press, a spokeswoman for the singer said on Thursday. This will be the first marriage for the singer, who goes by the moniker Brandy. Press is an executive with music publisher Warner/Chappell Music. A date for the wedding has not been announced publicly. Norwood, 33, has a 10-year-old daughter with her former boyfriend, music producer Robert Smith. ...
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Yahoo News article
Singer Brandy Admits: “I Was The Unhappiest Teenager In The World”
Back Seat Cuddler - almost 5 years
 Singer Brandy Norwood was profiled in VH1′s Behind The Music this week, a show I often find sad, and never moreso than when the subject is a child or teen star.   Brandy’s episode did nothing to dispel this perception.  The singer, whose 1994 song “I Wanna Be Down” catapulted her to fame when she was [...]
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Back Seat Cuddler article
Brandy Opens Up About Her Life on VH1′s “Behind the Music” [VIDEO]
Gossip On This - almost 5 years
Brandy Norwood has been through hell and back. During her VH1 “Behind The Music” episode that premiered last night, the R&B singer revealed a number of life-changing incidents, including being heartbroken after dating Boyz 2 Men singer Wanya Morris, having a teenage eating disorder, getting pregnant and faking her marriage, being involved in a fatal car crash, and more. Watch Brandy’s full “Behind the Music” special below:
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Gossip On This article
'Drop Dead Diva' Gets Return Date With Kim Kardashian Episode
The Wrap - almost 5 years
Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" is returning to the airwaves in June -- and it's bringing Kim Kardashian along with it. The show's fourth, 13-episode season will kick off June 3 at 9 p.m. with a season premiere featuring reality TV queen Kim Kardashian, who's beginning a multiple-episode run with the show. Also read: Kim Kardashian and Family Ink New 3-Year Deal With E! The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star will have a recurring role this season as Nikki LePree, a famed relationship guru (something of an irony, given Kardashian's track record on that front) who Stacy turns to for advice after her former flame Fred moves on with a new love interest. Also read: Tyler Perry Explains Kim Kardashian "Counselor" Casting Other guest stars for the season include Serena Williams, Brandy Norwood, Patty Duke, Valerie Harper and former "Cheers" star John Ratzenberger, who will hopefully regale the cast with useless trivia of suspect accuracy. In addition to the guest stars, "D ...
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The Wrap article
Brandy Norwood Talks "Drop Dead Diva" - MyFox Los Angeles
Google News - over 5 years
Los Angeles - The last time we saw Brandy Norwood she was in the semi-finals of "Dancing With The Stars," now Brandy has a series of special guest appearances on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." On Wednesday Brady talked to us about how she got involved
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Google News article
ANCYL mobilising support for Malema, Shivambu - Times LIVE
Google News - over 5 years
ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema surrounded by US actresses Brandy Norwood, far left, Regina King and Vivica A Fox , far right at the South African Sports Awards at Sun City hosted by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, also pictured. File photo
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Google News article
Brandy Norwood Seals Comeback with Album Deal - National Ledger
Google News - over 5 years
By Staff BRANDY NORWOOD is planning a big comeback in 2012 - the star has signed a new record deal alongside her recurring role in 90210. The Boy Is Mine hitmaker has been away from the charts since she released 2008's Human, but now has landed a new
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Google News article
Diahann Carroll, Obba Babatunde Honored At 21st NAACP Theatre Awards - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
... Isaiah Washington (NBC's 'Law & Order: LA'), Harry Lennix (The Matrix Revolutions), Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Stacey Dash (VH1's 'Single Ladies'), Brandy Norwood (R&B Singer) Meagan Good (Jumping the Broom),
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Brandy Norwood
  • 2016
    Age 37
    On February 23, 2016, Norwood announced her Slayana World Tour, beginning in New Zealand starting in June 2016.
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    In January 2016, Norwood debuted in Zoe Ever After, a sitcom on BET, which she also co-created and co-executive produces.
    More Details Hide Details She stars as lead character Zoe Moon. The show is also executive produced by Debra Martin Chase, Danny Rose, Scooter Braun, and Erica Montolfo-Bura, and co-stars Dorian Missick and Ignacio Serricchio. That same night, Norwood unveiled a new song titled "Beggin & Pleadin" off her upcoming album, which reached number two on Billboards Trending 140 chart. It was officially released as a single on January 21.
    Norwood will reprise the role in the musical's national tour during its 2016 engagement in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood also appeared on the 99 Souls mashup single "The Girl Is Mine", for which she re-recorded her vocals from "The Boy Is Mine" (1998). The song reached the top 10 in the United Kingdom and top 40 on other international charts.
    She starred in and executive produced a new sitcom Zoe Ever After on the BET network in January 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout her career, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, making her one of the best selling female artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lists Norwood as one of the top selling artists in the United States, with 10.5 million certified albums. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, one American Music Award, and seven Billboard Music Awards. She has become known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, intricate riffs, which has earned her the nickname 'The Vocal Bible' from industry peers and critics.
  • 2015
    Age 36
    Although initially a six-week run, her engagement was extended until August 2015.
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    After finishing the filming of the final season of The Game, Norwood made her Broadway debut in the musical Chicago, where she played the lead role of Roxie Hart, beginning in April 2015.
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    In April 2015, Norwood made her Broadway debut in the musical Chicago.
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  • 2014
    Age 35
    In April 2014, Norwood called off her engagement with Press following their breakup earlier that year.
    More Details Hide Details Driving home on December 30, 2006, Norwood was involved in a fatal automobile accident on Los Angeles' San Diego (405) Freeway. The accident claimed the life of 38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj, the driver of the Toyota that was struck by Norwood's Range Rover. Aboudihaj died from her injuries at the L.A. Holy Cross Hospital the following day. Norwood was neither arrested nor charged with vehicular manslaughter due to insufficient evidence. Law enforcement officials reported that Norwood was driving her car at 65 miles per hour, and did not notice that vehicles ahead of her had slowed considerably. Her vehicle then collided with rear of Aboudihaj's, causing the Toyota to strike another vehicle before sliding sideways and impacting the center divider. As the Toyota came to a stop, it was hit by yet another vehicle. A well-placed source in the California Highway Patrol, however, later reported that Aboudihaj actually struck the car in front of her and then slammed on her brakes before Norwood made contact. The sudden stop caused Norwood to hit Aboudihaj's car. As confirmed, toxicology reports showed that Aboudihaj had "slight traces" of marijuana in her system at the time of the crash.
    At the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards, she reunited with Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Yo-Yo to perform the hip hop remix of "I Wanna Be Down" in celebration of its 20th anniversary.
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    Also in 2014, Norwood made guest appearances on VH1's Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood and the TV Land sitcom The Soul Man.
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    In 2014, Norwood signed a deal with MBK Entertainment, a management company, for CEO Jeff Robinson to executive produce an album expected to be released in 2016.
    More Details Hide Details In July, She was also inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. The same month, Norwood released a rerecorded version of Coldplay's song "Magic" to her TwitMusic account; it peaked at number one on Billboards Trending 140 chart.
  • 2013
    Age 34
    In June 2013, Norwood signed with Creative Artists Agency, headquartered in Los Angeles.
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    In March 2013, Norwood returned to film, joining an ensemble cast consisting of Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross and Vanessa L. Williams in Tyler Perry's drama Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood plays supporting character Melinda, a woman with secrets. The film received generally negative reviews from critics but became a moderate US box office success.
  • 2012
    Age 33
    At the end of 2012, Norwood became engaged to music executive Ryan Press.
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    In February 2012, Norwood reteamed with Monica on "It All Belongs to Me", which was released as a single from the latter's album New Life.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood's own comeback single "Put It Down" featuring singer Chris Brown was released later that year. The song reached number three on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, becoming her first top ten entry in ten years. Her sixth album Two Eleven, which was released in October, saw a return to her R&B sound, but with what Norwood described a "progressive edge". A moderate commercial success, it was viewed as a humble comeback from Norwood, reaching number three on the US Billboard 200, and the top of the Billboard US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
  • 2011
    Age 32
    In 2011, Norwood joined the cast of the BET comedy series The Game, playing the recurring role of Chardonnay, a bartender.
    More Details Hide Details She became a regular cast member by the next season.
    In August 2011, it was confirmed that Norwood had signed a joint record deal with RCA Records and producer Breyon Prescott's Chameleon Records.
    More Details Hide Details In September, a new talent show, Majors & Minors, created by musician Evan Bogart, premiered on The Hub. It followed a group of young performers age 10–16 and their chance to be mentored by some established artists such as Norwood, Ryan Tedder and Leona Lewis. Later that same year, Norwood returned to acting roles with recurring appearances on The CW's teen drama series 90210, and in the fourth season of the Lifetime's comedy series Drop Dead Diva, in which she played the role of Elisa Shayne.
  • 2010
    Age 31
    In 2010 Brandy became involved with Get Schooled, a national non-profit mobile phone calls by celebrities to wake up students for school.
    More Details Hide Details In 2014, Norwood teamed up with "text4baby", which spreads health and wellness to expecting moms via text message, and became an honorary co-chairman of the 2014 Unstoppable Foundation.
    In 2010, she briefly dated rapper Flo Rida, though their mild flirtation did not lead to a romance.
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    In fall 2010, Norwood appeared as a contestant on season 11 of the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
    More Details Hide Details She ultimately placed fourth in the competition, which was a shock to the judges, viewers, studio audience, and other contestants that considered her one of the show's frontrunners throughout the entire competition.
    Executive produced by the Norwood family, the season concluded after eleven episodes, and was renewed for a second season, which began broadcasting in fall 2010.
    More Details Hide Details A Family Business, a compilation album with previously unreleased content from the entire cast was released on Saguaro Road Records in June 2011. Critics such as The Washington Post declared it an "awkward and adorable and really, really wholesome collection." While the album failed to chart, it produced three promotional singles, including the joint track "Talk to Me".
    In April 2010, Norwood and Ray J debuted in the VH1 reality series Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business along with their parents.
    More Details Hide Details The show chronicled the backstage lives of both siblings, while taking on larger roles in their family's management and production company, R&B Productions.
  • 2009
    Age 30
    In December 2009, she officially introduced her rapping alter-ego Bran'Nu with two credits on Timbaland's album Timbaland Presents Shock Value 2, and was cast in the pilot episode for the ABC series This Little Piggy, also starring Rebecca Creskoff and Kevin Rahm, which was recast the following year.
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  • 2008
    Age 29
    Norwood's fifth studio album, Human, was released in December 2008, produced by Toby Gad, Brian Kennedy, and RedOne.
    More Details Hide Details Distributed by Koch Records and Sony Music, the album marked Norwood's debut on the Epic Records label, and her reunion with long-time contributor and mentor Rodney Jerkins, who wrote and executive produced most of the album. Generally well received by critics, Human debuted at number fifteen on the U.S. Billboard 200 with opening week sales of 73,000 copies. With a domestic sales total of 214,000 copies, it failed to match the success of its predecessors. While lead-off single "Right Here (Departed)" scored Norwood her biggest chart success since 2002's "Full Moon", the album failed to impact elsewhere, resulting in lackluster sales in general and the end of her contract with the label, following the controversial appointment of Amanda Ghost as president of Epic Records, and Norwood's split with rapper Jay-Z's Roc Nation management.
  • 2007
    Age 28
    Norwood was originally slated to return for a second season in summer 2007, but eventually decided not to, feeling that she "couldn't give the new season the attention and commitment it deserved," following the fatal 2006 car accident in which she was involved.
    More Details Hide Details She was replaced by reality TV star Sharon Osbourne.
  • 2006
    Age 27
    In February 2006, Norwood began appearing in a recurring role on UPN sitcom One on One, playing the sister to brother Ray J's character D-Mack.
    More Details Hide Details In June, she was cast as one of three talent judges on the first season of America's Got Talent, an amateur talent contest on NBC executive-produced by Simon Cowell and hosted by Regis Philbin. The broadcast was one of the most-watched programs of the summer, and concluded on August 17, 2006 with the win of 11-year-old singer Bianca Ryan.
  • 2005
    Age 26
    Completing her contract with the label, a compilation album titled The Best of Brandy was released in March 2005.
    More Details Hide Details Released without any promotional single, it reached the top 30 in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, where the collection was appreciated by contemporary critics who noted the creativity of Norwood's back catalogue. Andy Kellman of AllMusic expressed, "This set, unlike so many other anthologies from her contemporaries, hardly confirms dwindling creativity or popularity." Thereupon she reportedly began shopping a new record deal under the auspices of Knockout Entertainment, her brother's vanity label.
  • 2004
    Age 25
    By the following year, Norwood had begun a relationship with NBA guard Quentin Richardson, who was then playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. The couple soon became engaged in July 2004 but Norwood eventually ended their 15-month engagement in October 2005.
    More Details Hide Details It was reported that Norwood had to get a tattoo of Richardson's face on her back transformed into a cat.
    After eleven years with the company, Norwood asked for and received an unconditional release from Atlantic Records at the end of 2004, citing her wish "to move on" as the main reason for her decision.
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    Returning from yet another hiatus, Norwood's fourth album Afrodisiac was released in June 2004, amid the well-publicized termination of her short-lived business relationship with entertainment manager Benny Medina.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood ended her contract with his Los Angeles-based Handprint Entertainment after less than a year of representation following controversies surrounding Medina's handling of the lead single "Talk About Our Love", and failed negotiations of a purported co-headlining tour with R&B singer Usher. Despite the negative publicity, Afrodisiac became Norwood's most critically acclaimed album, with some highlighting the "more consistently mature and challenging" effect of Timbaland on Norwood's music, and others calling it "listenable and emotionally resonant", comparing it to "Janet Jackson at her best." A moderate seller, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and received certifications in the United States, Europe and Japan. "Talk About Our Love" reached number six in the United Kingdom, but subsequent singles failed to score successfully on the popular music charts. Later that year, she guest-starred as Gladys Knight in the third season premiere of American Dreams, in which she performed "I Heard It Through the Grapevine".
  • 2002
    Age 23
    The couple kept the relationship secret until February 2002, when Norwood announced that she was expecting her first child. However, a year after the birth of their daughter, Sy'rai Iman Smith, on June 16, 2002—an event tracked by the four-part MTV reality series Brandy: Special Delivery—Norwood and Smith separated.
    More Details Hide Details In 2004, Smith revealed that the pair had never been legally wed, but that they had pretended to marry to preserve Norwood's public image. Norwood later stated that she regarded her relationship with Smith as a "spiritual union and true commitment to each other."
    Norwood's foray into reality television began in 2002 with the MTV series Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery; the show documented the final months of Norwood's pregnancy with her daughter Sy'rai.
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    Full Moon, Norwood's third studio album, was released in February 2002.
    More Details Hide Details It was composed of R&B and pop-oriented songs, many of them co-created with Jerkins, Warryn Campbell and Mike City. Its lead single "What About Us? " became a worldwide top-ten hit, and the album's title track was a Top 20 hit in the United States and the UK. Media reception was generally lukewarm, with Rolling Stone describing the album as "frantic, faceless, fake-sexy R&B." Within the coming year, Norwood and Robert "Big Bert" Smith began writing and producing for other artists such as Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland, and Kiley Dean.
    In 2002, she starred in the reality series Brandy: Special Delivery, documenting the birth of her daughter.
    More Details Hide Details Her third and fourth albums, Full Moon (2002) and Afrodisiac (2004), were released to critical and commercial success. She served as a judge on the first season of America's Got Talent before being involved in a widely publicized car accident in 2006. After several lawsuits stemming from the accident, Norwood's fifth album Human (2008) was released to commercial failure. In the 2010s, Norwood received a critical and commercial resurgence. In 2010, she returned to television as a contestant on the eleventh season of Dancing with the Stars and starred in the reality series Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business. In 2012 she became a series regular in the BET series The Game, and released her sixth album Two Eleven to critical praise.
  • 2001
    Age 22
    During the production of the Full Moon album, in mid-2001, Norwood became involved romantically with producer Robert "Big Bert" Smith.
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    After a lengthy hiatus following the end of Moesha, and a number of tabloid headlines discussing her long-term battle with dehydration, Norwood returned to music in 2001, when she and brother Ray-J were asked to record a cover version of Phil Collins' 1990 hit "Another Day in Paradise" for the tribute album Urban Renewal: A Tribute to Phil Collins.
    More Details Hide Details Released as the album's first single in Europe and Oceania, the song became an instant international success overseas, scoring top-ten entries on the majority of all charts it appeared on.
  • 1999
    Age 20
    In 1999, she co-starred with Diana Ross in the telefilm drama Double Platinum about an intense, strained relationship between a mother and daughter.
    More Details Hide Details Shot in only twenty days in New York City, both Norwood and Ross served as executive producers of the movie which features original songs from their respective albums Never Say Never (1998) and Every Day Is a New Day (1999), as well as previously unreleased duets.
  • 1998
    Age 19
    " She also embarked on the successful Never Say Never World Tour in 1998, consisting of sold out performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
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    Fledgling producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins was consulted to contribute to Norwood's second album Never Say Never, which was released in June 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood co-wrote and produced six songs on the album which yielded her first number-one song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "The Boy Is Mine", a duet with singer Monica that has become the most successful song by a female duo in the music industry. Exploiting the media's presumption of a rivalry between the two young singers, the song was one of the most successful records in United States of all time, spending a record-breaking thirteen weeks atop the Billboard charts, and eventually garnering the pair a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album's success was equally widespread, and after extensive radio play of the single overseas, the label released it globally during the summer. Never Say Never eventually became Norwood's biggest-selling album, selling over 16 million copies worldwide. Critics rated the album highly, with AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praising Norwood and her team for wisely finding "a middle ground between Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige—it's adult contemporary with a slight streetwise edge." Altogether, the album spawned seven singles, including Norwood's second number-one song, the Diane Warren-penned "Have You Ever?
  • 1997
    Age 18
    American neo soul singer Erykah Badu noted that her 1997 debut album, Baduizm, was partly influenced by Norwood's debut album, while Barbadian singer Rihanna said of her 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad, "Brandy really helped inspire that album.
    More Details Hide Details I listened to Afrodisiac every day in the studio." Kelly Rowland cited Norwood, who also wrote and produced for Rowland's debut album, as one of the inspirations for her second studio album Ms. Kelly (2007). Rock musician John Frusciante, former guitarist of rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers cited Norwood as the "main inspiration" behind the guitar work on Red Hot Chili Peppers' 2006 album, Stadium Arcadium. Brandy has also made her impact in the film and television industry as well. Brandy was the first African American to play the role of Cinderella. Her role as Cinderella inspired many African American actors. Speaking on the role, Keke Palmer said "I feel like the reason I'm able to do this the first African American Cinderella on Broadway is definitely because Brandy did it on TV". Brandy's TV Show Moesha on UPN was also one of the longest-running Black sitcoms of all time.
    In 1997, Norwood was hand-picked by producer Whitney Houston to play the title character in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s television version of Cinderella featuring a multicultural cast that also included Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, and Houston.
    More Details Hide Details The two-hour Wonderful World of Disney special garnered an estimated 60 million viewers, giving the network its highest ratings in the time period in 16 years, and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program the following year.
    In 1997, Brandy, Ray J and their parents, started The Norwood Kids Foundation, which helps disadvantaged, at-risk youths in Los Angeles and Mississippi through the Arts and self -help programs.
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  • 1996
    Age 17
    In 1996, she shared a short relationship with Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant, whom she accompanied to his prom at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details She also dated Boyz II Men lead singer Wanya Morris, whom she cited as her "first love." Morris, who was six years older than her, reportedly ended their relationship a month before her nineteenth birthday. Also during their work on the Never Say Never album, she briefly dated rapper Mase.
    After backing out of a role in F. Gary Gray's 1996 film Set It Off, Norwood made her big screen debut in the supporting role of Karla Wilson in the slasher film, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
    More Details Hide Details The movie outperformed the original with a total of $16.5 million at its opening weekend, but critical reaction to the film was largely disappointing, with film review site Rotten Tomatoes calculating a poor rating of 7% based on 46 reviews. Norwood, however, earned positive reviews for her "bouncy" performance, which garnered her both a Blockbuster Entertainment Award and an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Female Performance.
    In 1996, her short-lived engagement on Thea led Norwood to star in her own show, the UPN-produced sitcom Moesha. Appearing alongside William Allen Young and Sheryl Lee Ralph, she played the title role of Moesha Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl coping with a stepmother as well as the pressures and demands of becoming an adult. Originally bought by CBS, the program debuted on UPN in January 1996, and soon became their most-watched show.
    More Details Hide Details While the sitcom managed to increase its audience every new season and spawned a spin-off titled The Parkers, the network decided to cancel the show after six seasons on the air, leaving it ending with a cliffhanger for a scrapped seventh season. Norwood was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress for her performance.
    In 1996, Norwood also collaborated with Tamia, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight on the single "Missing You", released from the soundtrack of the F. Gary Gray film Set It Off.
    More Details Hide Details The single won her a third Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category.
  • 1995
    Age 16
    In 1995, she finished a two-month stint as the opening act on Boyz II Men's national tour, and contributed songs to the soundtracks of the films Batman Forever and Waiting to Exhale, with the single "Sittin' Up in My Room" becoming another top-two success.
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  • 1993
    Age 14
    In 1993, amid ongoing negotiations with East West Records, Norwood's parents organized a recording contract with the Atlantic Recording Corporation after auditioning for the company's director of A&R Darryl Williams.
    More Details Hide Details To manage her daughter, Norwood's mother soon resigned from her job, while Norwood herself dropped out of Hollywood High School later, and was tutored privately from tenth grade on. During the early production stages of her debut album, Norwood was selected for a role in the ABC sitcom Thea, portraying the daughter of a single mother played by comedian Thea Vidale. Initially broadcast to high ratings, the series' viewership dwindled and ended up running for only one season, but earned her a Young Artists Award nomination for Outstanding Youth Ensemble alongside her co-stars. Norwood recalled that she appreciated the cancellation of the show as she was unenthusiastic about acting at the time, and the taping caused scheduling conflicts with the recording of her album. She stated, "I felt bad for everybody else but me. It was a good thing, because I could do what I had to do, because I wanted to sing."
  • 1990
    Age 11
    In 1990, her talent led to a contract with Teaspoon Productions, headed by Chris Stokes and Earl Harris, who gave her work as a backing vocalist for their R&B boy band Immature, and arranged the production of a demo tape.
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  • 1983
    Age 4
    In 1983, her parents relocated to Los Angeles, California, where Norwood was schooled at the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center.
    More Details Hide Details Norwood's interest in music and performing increased after becoming a fan of singer Whitney Houston at the age of seven, but at school, she experienced trouble with persuading teachers to send her on auditions as she found no support among the staff. Norwood began entering talent shows by the time she was eleven, and, as part of a youth singing group, performed at several public functions.
  • 1979
    Age 0
    Norwood was born on February 11, 1979, in McComb, Mississippi, the daughter of Willie Norwood, a former gospel singer and choir director, and his wife, Sonja Norwood (née Bates), a former district manager for H&R Block.
    More Details Hide Details She is the older sister of entertainer Ray J, as well as a cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg. Raised in a Christian home, Norwood started singing through her father's work as part of the local church choir, performing her first gospel solo at the age of two.
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