Also performs as: Brandy (US R&B singer)
Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), better known simply as Brandy, is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, she enrolled in performing arts schools as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. From 1993 to 1994, Norwood appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea and signed 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 R&B Singles chart. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, 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.
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 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 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. In 2011, she began a recurring role on Drop Dead Diva and released her sixth album, Two Eleven, the following year. That same year, she also began playing the role of Chardonnay on the BET series The Game.
Within pop music, Norwood has become known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, intricate riffs, and beat-driven R&B. 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?", "Talk About Our Love", and "Put It Down" being her most successful. She has sold over 40 million records worldwide. 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, three American Music Awards, and seven Billboard Music Awards.