Born & Raised:
Full name: Brandy Rayana Norwood.
Born: Feb. 11, 1979 in McComb, Mississippi.
Raised: Lived in Mississippi until age 4, then her family relocated to Carson, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Brandy is the daughter of church pastor and Gospel singer Willie Ray Norwood Sr. and his wife, Sonja Norwood. She has a younger brother, William Raymond Norwood Jr., a singer-actor who performs under the stage name Ray J. Brandy started singing in church as a very young girl, and when she was 4, her family packed up and moved to the Los Angeles area to jump start Brandy and Ray's careers as performers. When Brandy was 11, she began to get work as a backup singer. She won a recording contract of her own in 1993 after performing at an Atlantic Records party.
Music and Moesha:
In 1994, when she was 15, her debut album, simply titled Brandy, was released. It eventually went on to sell more than four million copies, thanks partially to the hit singles "Baby" and "I Wanna Be Down." In 1996, she became the star of the UPN network sitcom Moesha, with Brandy playing the title character. Then in 1998, she returned to music and released her sophomore album, Never Say Never, which was even more popular than her first album. Never Say Never sold more than five million copies and is best known for the hit "The Boy is Mine," a duet with the R&B singer Monica.
During much of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Brandy focused more on acting, modeling and her personal life than music. Moesha wound up staying on the air until 2001, and after the show ended its six-year run, Brandy returned to recording music. During the making of her third album, Full Moon, Brandy became romantically involved with producer Robert Smith. The couple had a daughter named Sy'rai Iman Smith in June 2002, three months after Brandy's third album was released. The birth itself was the subject of a four-part MTV reality series called Special Delivery.
While they were together, Smith and Norwood claimed they were married, but that later turned out to be something fabricated in order to protect Brandy's then-wholesome image. After the relationship dissolved, both parties eventually admitted that they were never legally married. In 2003, Brandy began dating NBA player Quentin Richardson, who was at the time playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. The couple got engaged in 2004 and in that same year, Brandy's fourth album, Afrodisiac, was released. To date, Afrodisiac has sold over half a million copies.
Brandy eventually broke up with Richardson in 2005 while he was with the New York Knicks. In the summer of 2006, she served as a judge on the NBC network's televised amateur talent show "America's Got Talent." On December 30, 2006, Brandy was involved in a fatal vehicle accident in Los Angeles when her SUV crashed into another vehicle on a freeway. A 38-year-old woman driving a Toyota was critically injured in the crash and was hospitalized, but died the following day. Brandy was neither injured nor arrested at the scene, but as of late January 2007, police are still investigating whether to file charges against her.
2002: Full Moon
1998: Never Say Never