Who is Brandy Norwood? Wiki Bio

Brandy Rayana Norwood was born in MrComb, Mississippi USA, on 11 February 1979, so her zodiac sign is Aquarius and she holds American nationality. She is an actress, singer and a record producer, who gained recognition after the release of her album “Brandy” in 1994.

Early life and education

Brandy was raised alongside her brother William Ray Norwood Jr. by their mother, Sonja who was a working at H&R Block as a district manager, and their father Willie Norwood who is a gospel singer. Brandy has several famous relatives including Sasha Banks who is competing in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Snoop Dogg who is a famous rapper.

She started singing with her father at a local church at a very early age, making her solo debut when she was only two. When she turned four, the family moved to Los Angeles in California, and Brandy enrolled at the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center. When she was 11, she began working with Teaspoon Productions, and then became a member of the band Immature, but her mother arranged for her to record a solo album with Atlantic Recording Corporation, and quit work to help Brandy with her career – Brady left high school and started taking classes online. After matriculation, Brandy enrolled at Pepperdine University, but dropped out in 1999.

Rise to stardom as a singer

Brandy’s debut album turned out to be a hit reaching #20 on the USA Billboard 200, and selling more than six million copies, while three of Brandy’s singles found themselves in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. For the album, Brandy was nominated for numerous awards, and won a Soul Train Music Award as well as two Billboard Awards. She was then invited to record soundtracks for multiple movies, such as “Batman Forever” and “Set It Off”, among others.

In June 1998 Brandy’s second album, “Never Say Never” was released, while her song “The Boy Is Mine” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was considered as the best song of all times in the US – the album sold more than 16 million copies.

In 1998, Brandy went on a tour around the world to promote it and all of the tickets for her concerts in Asia, the US and Europe were sold out. Her third album “Full Moon” came out in February 2002, and its lead single “What About Us?” become a hit worldwide.

She released her fourth album, “Afrodisiac” in the summer of 2004, while her fifth album “The Best of Brandy” comprising her most famous songs came out in March 2005. Her next album was “Human” in 2008, while she released her latest album “Two Eleven” in 2012.

Roles in movies and theatre plays

Brandy made her debut film appearance in the black comedy horror “Arachnophobia” in 1990, and then starred in the musical fantasy movie “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”, and for her performance was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for an Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.

In 1998, she portrayed Karla Wilson in the slasher movie “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”, and was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for the Best Breakthrough Performance and for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for the Favorite Actress – Horror.

Some of her later roles in movies have been in the animated film “Osmosis Jones” in which she lent her voice to Leah Estrogen in 2001, in the romance drama “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” in 2013, and another romantic comedy “The Perfect Match” in which she portrayed Avatia in 2016.

Brandy appeared in the Broadway play “Chicago” in April 2015 and August 2017, while she also appeared in the same play at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles in 2016, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. in 2017.

Appearances in TV series and reality shows

She made her debut TV series appearance in 1993, when she was invited to portray the lead character Danesha Turrell in the sitcom “Thea”, and then from 1996 to 2001 Brandy starred as Moesha Mitchell in the sitcom “Moesha”, and for her performance was rewarded with an NAACP Image Award for an Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Series or Special. She went on to appear in single episodes of many series such as “Jungle Cubs” in 1997, “The Parkers” in 2000, and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” in 2002.

After being praised for her acting skills, she was invited to guest star in “Reba” and “Raising Dead”, and in 2004 she portrayed Gladys Knight in the critically acclaimed drama series “American Dreams”. The year 2006 saw her appear in four episodes of “One on One” while her next role was in “90210” in 2011.

From 2012 to 2015, she played a recurring character in the comedy drama series “The Game” and was rewarded with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014. Some of her latest roles in TV series have been in “The Soul Man” in 2014, “Zoe Ever After” in 2016, and “Star” in 2019.

Brandy made her debut reality show appearance in “New York Undercover” in 1995, followed by appearances in “Brandy: Special Delivery” and “Maybe It’s Me” in 2002. She served as a judge in the talent show competition “America’s Got Talent” in 2006, and then appeared in “The Hills” in 2008 and “For the Love of Ray J” in 2010. She competed in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010; some of her latest appearances in reality TV shows have been in “Majors & Minors” in 2012, “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” in which she has been appearing since 2014, and “My Kitchen Rules” in 2017.

Love life and daughter. Is she married?

Brandy was dating Kobe Bryant, the late Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, for several months in 1996, and the two went together to Kobe’s prom. Shortly after that she started dating Wanya Morris, an American singer who she considers as her first ‘real love’. After Wanya broke up with her just a month before she turned 19, she started dating Mason ‘Mase’ Betha, who is an American rapper.

In the summer of 2001, she started seeing Robert Smith who is a record producer and a musician, dated in secret for over half a year before Brandy became pregnant. Their daughter Sy’rai Iman Smith was born on 16 June 2002, but a year later Brandy and Robert split. She then dated Quentin Richardson, a retired American basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers.

In the summer of 2004, they became engaged, but that was cancelled in October 2005, and Brandy turned the tattoo which she had of Quentin into a cat. She dated Flo Rida, a famous American rapper, for a month in 2001 and in 2012 started dating Ryan Press who is a musician.  They broke up in 2014, and it appears that Brandy has been single since then.

Hobbies and other interests

Brandy has done a bit of modelling mostly for fun, and has appeared in many commercials, while she became a CoverGirl in 1999. She was signed by the famous Wilhelmina Modelling Agency, and in 1999 the Brandy Doll hit the markets, featuring Brandy wearing an orange blouse and skirt. Another doll called Holliday Brandy Doll was released in 2000, and the two together sold more than two million toys. Brandy was also working as a spokesperson for the company which produces wigs, called Ultima, from 2005 to 2014.

Brandy is also a philanthropist and has founded the Norwood Kids Foundation together with her brother.

In 1999, she became The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) international spokesperson, while she also worked with several other organizations at the time including Make A Wish Foundation and 2000 WATTS, to which she donated $100,000. Some of the other foundations and organizations which she has worked with include Get Schooled, text4baby, and Unstoppable Foundation.

Her favorite singer and actress has always been Whitney Houston, and while growing up, she always looked up to her and wanted to become as good of a singer as she was. Some of her other role models are her father, the jazz singer Kim Burrell, Enya and Sade, among others.

Car crash and numerous lawsuits

On 30 December 2006, Brandy hit another car while driving home, and the driver Awatef Aboudihaj died the next day at the Los Angeles Holy Cross Hospital.

There was not enough evidence to arrest nor charge Brandy, and an eyewitness stated how Awatef first hit another car and then Brandy hit her as she was going too fast (65mph) to be able to slow down soon enough. The later analysis showed that Awatef smoked weed shortly before the accident.

Even though Brandy’s name was clean, Awatef’s parents sued her for $50 million which was settled out of court, while Awatef’s husband also sued her which was once again settled out of court in November 2009. Both Awatef’s children sued Brandy for $600,000 in total, while the two other people involved in the crash sued her for unknown amounts of money.

How rich is Brandy Norwood? Net worth and appearance

Brandy is 41 years old. She has long brown hair and brown eyes, is 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall, and weighs around 136lbs (62ks). As of April 2020, Brandy’s net worth is estimated at over $60 million.