Brandy Norwood was born in 1979 in McComb, Mississippi. Her family had strong musical ties as her father, Willie Norwood was a pastor, choir director and former R&B singer and her mother was a cousin of blues singer Bo Diddley. At the early age of two, Brandy began singing at the church.
When she was four, Brandy moved to Carson, California with her family and began chasing her dream by singing at talent shows. At the age of 11, she met a record producer who helped her get backup singing jobs with Norment and Immature.
At the age of 14, Brandy got a record deal with Atlantic Records after performing at an Atlantic Recording Corporation event and impressing executive Daryl Williams. She released her self-titled debut album in 1994. The album hit gold status and kept on selling, eventually reaching quadruple platinum status. Before the album was even released, Brandy scored her first #1 R&B hit with 'I Wanna Be Down.' The album's second single, 'Baby' was her second #1 R&B hit and the album's other two singles, 'Brokenhearted,' and 'Best Friend' both were top 10 hits.
Her follow-up album, released in 1998 was titled, Never Say Never. The album had the #1 smash hit 'The Boy Is Mine' which stayed on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for thirteen weeks and capitalized on the supposed rivalry between Brandy and Monica by placing them together on the track. The song won a Grammy for 'Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.' The album's third single 'Have You Ever?' reached #1 as well and reigned the charts for nine weeks. Never Say Never's last successful single was 'Almost Doesn't Count,' which reached #16 on the Hot 100. The album performed exceptionally well, selling five million copies.
After her album's release, Brandy finished up the last three seasons of her sitcom Moesha and performed in a variety of television shows and movies. In 2001, the singer 'married' record producer Robert Smith and had a daughter, Sy'rai Iman Smith. The 'marriage' was not legal and was believed to have been done for the sake of keeping Brandy's wholesome image. The two divorced shortly thereafter
During the same year, Brandy remade Phil Collins 'Another Day in Paradise,' with her brother Ray J. The song went multi-platinum and topped charts in over thirteen counties.
Brandy's third album, Full Moon was released in 2002 and featured the hit single 'What About Us.' 'What About Us' reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B charts. The album's title track reached #18 on the Hot 100 while the third single, 'He Is,' flopped, peaking at #72 on the R&B charts. In the video for the track 'Full Moon' Brandy was five months pregnant. The album sold 1.7 million copies in the US but was negatively received by critics who deemed it a flop.
In 2004, Brandy released her fourth album, Afrodisiac. The album had a lot of controversy with its release after Brandy terminated her business relationship with manager Benny Medina for his handling of the lead single 'Talk About Our Love' and failure at talks of a tour with Usher. Despite the controversy, the album was critically-acclaimed, though it failed to succeed commercially. The album's singles 'Who Is She to You' and 'Talk About Our Love' both did moderately on the charts, reaching #43 and #16 on the R&B charts respectively.
On December 30, 2006, Brandy was involved in a fatal car accident. The accident happened when Brandy did not notice that traffic had slowed down in front of her and crashed, causing a four car accident. Brandy faced potential lawsuits and criminal charges but the attorney's office opted out of pursuing a trial because they felt they were unable to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
Brandy is expected to release her fifth album, Human in late 2008