With a return to the music scene, this year, Brandy Norwood is fighting back, and she's not holding any punches! Her latest effort (a full-length, R-n-B album), titled "Two Eleven," peaked at Number 1, on the Billboard music charts, and with a sultry, new music video on the rise, it seems as though she's living out her Wildest Dreams...
(Brandy x Wildest Dreams. Video)
Perhaps, out of all the contemporaries within her generation, there's no one else -besides Norwood- who has been able to fully capture -and conquer- the world of entertainment; this includes music, film, fashion and television (although she has yet to formally tackle the stage).
(Brandy x Thea)
With an impressive career that stretches back -as far as- 18 years, Norwood began to receive notoriety via a starring role on the short-lived, family sitcom, Thea (in 1993), after which she released her self-titled, debut album and sky-rocketed to international fame! Brandy (the 1994 album), was a chart-topper, and spawned two, #1 hit singles that introduced us to a young but soulful voice, whose owner would soon win over a many of fans!
Following the success of her debut album, Norwood re-engaged the world of television, and found herself the star of her own, UPN sitcom, titled Moesha (in 1996). Playing the sassy, books-and-street-smart, title character (Moesha Mitchell), Norwood scored an NAACP Image Award for her performance, and the show remained on-the-air for six, consecutive seasons.
(Brandy x Moesha)
That same year (1996), Norwood would have one of many encounters with her music idol, Whitney Houston, recording a lead single for Houston's "Waiting to Exhale," film soundtrack. Norwood's song, "Sittin' Up In My Room," won a MTV Movie Award for Best Song From A Movie, which beat out Seal's effort, "Kiss From A Rose," from the Batman Forever soundtrack; another album to which Norwood contributed her voice (for the song, "Where Are You Now?").
(Brandy x Waiting To Exhale. 1996)
Moreover, Norwood -again- teamed up with Houston (in 1997), for the record-breaking, TV movie, "Cinderella."
(Brandy x Whitney Houston)
By 1998, with the release of her critically-acclaimed and commercially successful, sophomore album, "Never Say Never," and moving towards the new millennium, Norwood's presence as the reigning 'teen queen,' was virtually inescapable; prominently featured on several, major film soundtracks; a Cover Girl contract and a brand ambassador for Donna Karan's DKNY Jeans... she was EVERYWHERE!!!
(Brandy x Cover Girl)
(Brandy x DKNY)
Never Say Never (1998)
"Never Say Never" sold millions of records and spawned several, big hits, including "The Boy is Mine" (a duet with fellow, R-and-B singer, Monica), which spent 10+ weeks at the top of the Billboard, music charts and earned a Grammy award for both artists.
(Brandy x Monica. 1998)
Norwood's big-screen debut soon followed, with her being cast in the role of Karla Wilson, for the teen scream flick, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (the sequel to the 1997, cult-classic, "I Know what you did Last Summer"), which earned her another, MTV Movie Award nomination; this time for Best Breakthrough Female Performance (which she lost, to Katie Holmes' turn in "Disturbing Behavior"), 1999.
(Brandy x ISKWYDLS. 1998)
However, that same year, Norwood found herself being taken under the wing of yet another music diva (in addition to Houston), co-starring with legendary, music icon Diana Ross, for the television film, "Double Platinum."
(Brandy x Diana Ross. 1999)
Between 2000-2002, Norwood's fantastical career began to take a backseat to real life, which saw her mature into a young woman who somehow became enmeshed in a large controversy surrounding her engagement and pregnancy with music producer Robert "Big Bert" Smith. Never one to let a pop-culture-moment slip by, MTV premiered a mini-docu-series titled, "Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery," which chronicled the final months of Norwood's pregnancy, leading up to the birth of her daughter, Sy'rai Iman Smith.
(Brandy x MTV Diary. 2002)
Norwood's luster eventually began to fade, as she placed marriage and motherhood before music, and as a result, each album that she released thereafter (up to 2008), was met with tepid reviews and her creative efforts were less successful than those of her formative years.
Full Moon (2002)
(Brandy x America's Got Talent. 2006)
(Brandy x Dancing With the Stars. 2010)
Currently rounding out her iconic career in music, while further establishing herself as a brand, Norwood recently released her sixth, studio album titled "Two Eleven" (October 16, 2012), which is symbolic of both, her birth date (February 11, 1979), and the date of her idol, Whitney Houston's death.
Two Eleven (2012)
The album has been met with vast, critical acclaim, and continues to climb both the Pop and R-n-B charts, on Billboard. The lead single from the album, "Put It Down" (a thumping, mid-tempo collaboration with Chris Brown), has already given Norwood her first, Top 5 hit, in several years!
(Brandy x Put It Down. Video)
As with most stars (read: celebrities), the best of them are always able to prove that they're more than just a one-trick-pony, and Norwood is no exception to this rule. She's been performing -professionally- since adolescence, and her return to the big screen will come in March of 2013, with the release of Tyler Perry's film, "The Marriage Counselor." With high hopes to carry out the legacy of Houston, and to re-connect with fans that have supported her since day 1 of "I Wanna Be Down," Norwood looks toward a bright future, as she continues to set the stage, for our entertainment.
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