More About Brandy
b. Brandy Norwood, 11 February 1979, McComb, Mississippi, USA. Among the best of the 90s crop of R&B's "new jill swingers", Brandy is actually much less sex and violence-obsessed than most of her peers. Her career in entertainment began early - at the age of 15 she was nominated for a Youth In Film Award for her portrayal of schoolgirl Denesha in the ABC television situation comedy Thea. Her breakthrough in music followed quickly. Her self-titled debut album, produced by Keith Crouch and the Somethin' For The People collective, reached number 6 in the R&B album charts, selling over 1.3 million copies. It included the successful crossover single, "I Wanna Be Down". That song was then transformed in an alternative version marketed specifically at rap fans. The "Hyman Rhythm Hip Hop Remix" featured guest rhymes from Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Yo Yo. Released on the b-side of the follow-up single, "Baby", it helped the a-side become one of the fastest-selling R&B number 1s in recent US chart history. Both single and album won awards at the inaugural Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in Los Angeles in 1995. Regarded as a comparatively wholesome performer, she was also named spokeswoman for the 1996 Sears/Seventeen Peak Performance Scholarship Program and tour, which supports the efforts of young women to achieve specific goals. In 1996 her brother, Ray-J, made his recording debut for Elektra Records.\r\n\r\nBrandy also appeared in the hugely popular television show Moesha, and her second album was recorded during breaks from filming. Her spiky duet with fellow soul singer Monica on 1998's "The Boy Is Mine" was a huge-selling US number 1, spending 13 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the all-time number one female duet in US chart history. The single also reached number 2 in the UK and sold over 3 million copies worldwide. The attendant number 2 album, Never S-A-Y Never, was disappointingly bland, but follow-up single, "Top Of The World" (featuring a guest appearance from Ma$e ) was another transatlantic hit single (UK number 2, October 1998). "Have You Ever?", written by Diane Warren, topped the Hot 100 in January 1999. The same year, Brandy made her acting debut in the horror movie I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.