While the younger generation might be vaguely familiar with the R&B trailblazer, the older millennials who grew up watching the hit television show, Moesha know Brandy as the IT girl of the late 90s and early 2000s.
Brandy Rayana Norwood is a 43-year-old, singer-songwriter, actress, and model who dominated the Y2K era with her undeniably outstanding talent, setting the stage and standards for the music genre, R&B as it is widely appreciated today.
In this article, we’ll recall several record-breaking achievements of the legend and why we’ll never have enough of the ‘The Boy is Mine’ singer.
Brandy’s Cinderella did it for us!
Brandy made headlines and became a household name when she starred in the 1997 remake of the timeless tale of Cinderella, becoming the first Black Cinderella ever.
The movie was released at an era when black leads were not typically cast in Hollywood blockbusters and it captivated black audiences everywhere.
The cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella also included the musical legend Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. It is also important to note that the movie was ahead of its time as it showed Brandy as Cinderella with box braids.
In a 2021 interview with People magazine, she said “I’m pretty sure, I know, for other girls that look like me — Black girls that look like me — it inspired them to dream bigger and to know that they can do anything if they put their minds to it”
Seventeen years later, Keke Palmer became the first black Cinderella on Broadway following the path Brandy paved.
Brandy’s candidness about her mental health journey
Through her music and in several interviews, Brandy has opened up about her struggles with mental illnesses. She shared that during her path as a child star to superstardom, she somehow lost herself.
Following a couple of incidents which include a marriage situation and an accident that left a woman dead, Brandy became chronically depressed and suicidal.
However, her daughter, Sy’rai became her lifeline as she decided to start the journey to mental wellness through therapy, journaling, meditation, and faith.
Brandy is a Musical Trendsetter!
Brandy’s stunning talent and distinct vocals have earned her the moniker ‘Vocal bible’ as her award-winning sophomore album, Never say Never, set her name in the R&B hall of fame.
The 1998 album featured the Grammy-winning duet with Monica, The boy is mine, a song that contributed to the popularity of the trend of female duets in the R&B genre.
Several headliners of today’s music sphere like Jasmine Sullivan, H.E.R, Tori Kelly, and more have named Brandy as an inspiration for their vocal ranges and depth.
Brandy always lets her love for her family shine through
On her social media, in reality shows and in interviews, Brandy never hesitates to speak about her family and her absolute adoration for them. She supported her brother during a particularly trying time and has taken up several projects with her parents, Sonja and Willie Norwood.
Here’s a ‘Now you know’ fact for you. Brandy is first cousins with Hip Hop legend, Snoop Dogg and professional wrestler, Sasha Banks.