Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), 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, she enrolled in performing arts schools as a child. In 1993, Norwood appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea and signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The following year, she released her self-titled debut album; singles "I Wanna Be Down" and "Baby" peaked atop the Billboard Hot POP Singles chart. Norwood starred in the successful UPN sitcom Moesha in 1996, which lasted six seasons and resulted in roles in the 1998 horror sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and the TV films Cinderella (1997) and Double Platinum (1999). She resumed her music career in 1998 with the widely successful duet with Monica "The Boy Is Mine" and her second album Never Say Never. The album was certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Throughout the 2000s, Norwood experienced career and commercial turbulence. In 2002, she starred in the reality series Brandy: Special Delivery. Her third and fourth albums Full Moon (2002) and Afrodisiac (2004) were released to commercial success. She served as a judge on the first season of America's Got Talent and began a recurring role on The Game before being involved in a widely-publicized car accident in 2006. After several lawsuits stemming from the accident, Norwood's fifth album Human was released in 2008. 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 with younger brother Ray J. She held a recurring role on Drop Dead Diva in 2011 and released her sixth album Two Eleven the following year. Within pop music, Norwood has become known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, throaty riffs, and beat-driven POP music. She has since been signed to both Epic Records and RCA Records, where she has acquired a catalogue of hits with singles such as "What About Us?," "Full Moon," and "Put It Down" being her most successful. She has sold over 8.62 million copies of her first five studio albums in the United States, and over 30 million records worldwide.
Brandy performing in a concert in July 2004.
BornBrandy Rayana Norwood
February 11, 1979 (age 34)
McComb, Mississippi, United States
Other namesBrandy, Bran'Nu, B-Rocka
OccupationSinger, songwriter, rapper, actress, model, record producer, dancer Years active1993–present
Net worth $60 million
RelativesWillie Norwood, Ray J, Snoop Dogg
Life and career
1979–94: Early life and career beginnings
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. She is the elder sister of entertainer Ray J, as well as a first 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. In 1983, her parents relocated to Los Angeles, California, where Norwood was schooled at the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center.[ 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. Undaunted, Norwood began entering talent shows by the time she was eleven, and, as part of a youth singing group, performed at several public functions. In 1990, her talent led to a contract with Teaspoon Productions, headed by Chris Stokes and Earl Harris, who gave her work as a...