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Brandy Norwood

Norwood performing in July 2004
Background information
Birth name Brandy Rayana Norwood
Also known as Brandy, Bran'Nu
Born February 11, 1979 (1979-02-11) (age 31)
McComb, Mississippi,
United States
Origin Carson, California, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop, soul, hip hop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, actress, film producer, dancer
Years active 1993–present
Labels Atlantic (1993–2005)
Knockout (2005–present)
Epic (2008–2009)
Associated acts Mike City, Rodney Jerkins, Monica,Willie Norwood, Ray J, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Wanya Morris,

Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), known professionally as Brandy, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, television entertainer, actress, and film producer. In 2009, she introduced her rap alter-ego Bran'Nu.[1][2]

Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, Norwood first appeared in a supporting role on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea in 1993. Her engagement led to her own star vehicle, successful UPN sitcom Moesha in 1996, and resulted into roles in the 1998 horror sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and the TV films Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997) and Double Platinum (1999), two of television's best rated special programs.[3]

In 1993, she signed a recording contract with Atlantic, releasing her self-titled debut album a year after. Following a major success with Grammy Award-winning "The Boy Is Mine", a duet with singer Monica, and her second album Never Say Never in 1998, a series of successful records established her as one of the most successful of the new breed of urban R&B female vocalists to emerge during the mid-to late 1990s. Her latest studio album, Human (2008), was her first effort to be released on the Epic label after a label change in 2005.

The RIAA ranks Norwood as one of the best-selling female artists in American music history, having sold over 10.5 million copies of her five studio albums in the United States and over 25 million albums worldwide, to date.[4][5] Additionally, she has won over 100 awards as a recording artist.[3]



Norwood is the elder of two siblings born to Willie Norwood, a former gospel singer and choir director, and his wife Sonja Norwood, a former district manager for H&R Block, in McComb, Mississippi.[6] She is the sister of singer, actor and television host Ray J, and a cousin of the late blues music singer Bo Diddley as well as rapper Snoop Dogg.[7]

Through her father's work Norwood started singing at the Los Angeles Forum at the age of six, Brandy began performing at many West Coast functions as part of a youth singing group and then, at eleven, she met manager Chris Stokes who obtained her gigs as a backing vocalist for his R&B boy band Immature.[8] In 1993, while researching record companies, seeking a record deal, Norwood attended a party hosted by the Atlantic Recording Corporation and was offered a recording contract by the label after auditioning.[8]

Recording career


By the time Norwood was putting the final touches on her debut album with producers Keith Crouch and Darryl Williams, Atlantic Records decided to release "I Wanna Be Down" as the newcomer's first outing. Although the singer was barely satisfied with her label's debut single choice at the time of its release,[9] the song subsequently scored Brandy her first number-one hit on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it remained four weeks atop. Its success resulted in a remixed version of the song, containing new vocals by rappers Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo and MC Lyte, and increased the sales of Norwood's second number-one hit "Baby", her first international top-10 entry. Her debut album Brandy, a collection of street-oriented rhythm-and-blues, scored number 20 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number six on the Top R&B Albums chart. It eventually sold over four million copies domestically, and although the album's success was limited elsewhere, it produced another two top 10 hits with "Best Friend" and "Brokenhearted". Latter single, a re-done version with Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris, was recorded during Brandy's two-month stint as the opening act on the group's national tour.[10][11]

Critical reaction to Brandy was generally positive, with Allmusic writer Eddie Huffman calling Brandy "a lower-key Janet Jackson or a more stripped-down Mary J. Blige [...] with good songs and crisp production".[12] The album eventually earned Norwood two Grammy Award nominations for "Best New Artist" and "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", four Soul Train Music Awards, two Billboard Awards, and the New York Children's Choice Award. The singer continued to be popular during the next two years, teaming with Lenny Kravitz for the Batman Forever soundtrack and scoring another hit single with her Waiting to Exhale contribution, "Sittin' Up in My Room" (1995). In 1996, Norwood also collaborated with Tamia, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight on the single "Missing You", released from the Set It Off soundtrack. While not her greatest success, the single did score number 25 on the popular music chart, and earned Brandy her third Grammy nomination in the "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" category.

In 1997, Atlantic Records consulted beginning producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins to contribute to Norwood's second album Never Say Never, which was released on June 9, 1998. Brandy co-wrote and produced six songs on the album which yielded her first number-one rated song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "The Boy Is Mine", a duet with singer Monica. Exploiting the media's presumption of a rivalry between the two young singers, the song was one of the most successful records of the year,[13] spending record-breaking thirteen weeks on top of the Billboard charts, and eventually garnered the pair a Grammy Award for "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal". The album's success was equally widespread, and after extensive radio play of the single overseas, the label released it globally during the summer. Never Say Never eventually became Brandy’s biggest-selling album, selling over fourteen million copies worldwide; and critics rated the album highly, with Allmusic`s Stephen Thomas Erlewine praising Brandy and her team for wisely finding "a middle ground between Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige — it's adult contemporary with a slight streetwise edge".[14] Altogether the album spawned seven airplay and CD singles respectively, including Norwood's second number-one song, Diane Warren-penned "Have You Ever?".[15]


After a lengthy hiatus that saw the end of the Moesha sitcom, and a flurry of tabloid headlines discussing her bout with dehydration, Norwood returned to music in 2001 when she and brother Ray-J were asked to record a cover version of Phil Collins' 1980s hit "Another Day in Paradise" for the tribute album Urban Renewal: A Tribute to Phil Collins.[16] Released as the album first single in Europe and Oceania, the song became an instant international success overseas, scoring top ten entries on the majority of all charts it appeared on.[17]

Full Moon, Norwood's third studio album, was released in February 2002. It once again comprised a row of R&B and pop-oriented songs with adult contemporary, many of them co-created with Jerkins, Warryn Campbell and Mike City. While its lead single "What About Us?" became a worldwide top ten hit, the album's title track failed to chart or sell noticeably outside the United States and the United Kingdom, where it managed to enter the Top 20 of charts.[18][19] Media reception was generally lukewarm, with Rolling Stone describing the album as "frantic, faceless, fake-sexy R&B."[20] Within the coming year, Norwood and spouse Robert "Big Bert" Smith began writing and producing for other artists such as Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland, Tarralyn Ramsey, and Kiley Dean.[21]

Returning from yet another hiatus, Brandy's fourth album Afrodisiac was released on June 29, 2004 in North America, amidst both her weakest promotional campaign ever and the well-publicized termination of her short-lived business relationship with entertainment manager Benny Medina.[22] Norwood ended her contract with his Los Angeles-based Handprint Entertainment after less than a year of representation following controversies surrounding Medina's handling of the lead single "Talk About Our Love", and failed negotiations of a purported co-headlining tour with R&B singer Usher.[22] Upon parting Norwood admitted her switch to Medina made her appreciate what she had with her mother, stating that "it was such a drastic change that it didn't work for me. Nobody out there can match her passion for me."[22] Despite the negative publicity, Timbaland-produced Afrodisiac became Brandy's most critically acclaimed album to date,[23] with some highlighting the "more consistently mature and challenging" effect of Timbaland on Brandy's music,[24] and others calling it "listenable and emotionally resonant," comparing it to "Janet Jackson at her best".[25] Norwood described the CD as her most mature and versatile effort by then: "I just wanted to sing my heart out and connect with people. I wasn’t old enough or mature enough before to get into people’s hearts. Now I am."[26] Nevertheless Afrodisiac became a moderate seller: While the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 500,000 copies domestically, it generally failed to chart or sell noticeably outside the United States.[27] "Talk About Our Love" reached number six in the United Kingdom but later singles failed to score successfully on the popular music charts.[28]


After eleven years with the company Norwood asked for and received a release from Atlantic Records in the end of 2004. As a direct consequence the company released a collection of all of her singles, The Best of Brandy in 2005. "I think it's awesome to have an album that reflects the songs that people have enjoyed over the years," Brandy said in an interview the following year, "I'm happy to say that many of the tracks included are my favorites too."[27] Thereupon she reportedly started shopping for a new record deal under Knockout Entertainment, her brother's label.[29]

In June 2006, Norwood was cast as one of three talent judges on the first season of America's Got Talent, an amateur talent contest on NBC with executive producer Simon Cowell and host Regis Philbin. The broadcast was one of the most-watched programs of the summer, and concluded on August 17, 2006 with the win of 11-year-old singer Bianca Ryan.[30] Brandy was originally scheduled to return for a second season of the America's Got Talent in summer 2007, but decided eventually not to do so, feeling that "she couldn't give the new season the attention and commitment it deserved," following the fatal 2006 car accident, in which she was involved.[31] She was eventually replaced by reality TV star Sharon Osbourne.[31]

Brandy's fifth studio album Human was released in December 2008 in North America, involving production by James Fauntleroy, Toby Gad, Brian Kennedy, and RedOne, among others,[32][33] Distributed by Koch Records and Sony Music, the album marked Brandy's debut on the Epic Records label, following her split with Atlantic,[34] and her reunion with long-time contributor and mentor Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, who wrote and executive produced most of the album.[32] Generally well-received by critics, Human debuted at number fifteen on the U.S. Billboard 200 with opening week sales of 73,000 copies, becoming the singer's lowest-charting debut since her first album fourteen years prior.[35] With a domestic sales total of 200,000 copies, it widely failed to revive the success of its predecessors, also becoming the singer's lowest-selling effort to date.[36] While leading single "Right Here (Departed)" scored Brandy her biggest chart success since 2002's "Full Moon," the album failed to impact elsewhere, resulting into lackluster sales in general and the release of just one other single, "Long Distance."[37]


In early 2009, Norwood signed a short-living management deal with rapper Jay-Z's Roc Nation that ended amicably half a year later.[38] A couple of months later, during the production of new material for a second album on Epic Records, it was confirmed that the singer had also left the label.[39] In December 2009, she officially introduced her rapping alter-ego Bran'Nu with two credits on Timbaland's album Timbaland Presents Shock Value 2.[40] After collaborating with Timbaland, it was reported that Norwood would begin work on her sixth studio album which Timbaland revealed was going to embrace her new rap alter-ego, as well as her singing. The project is involving heavy production from Timbaland, and from, Danja, new production duo Kadis & Sean, and Akon, among others.[41][42] In addition, Norwood is preparing a collaboration album with brother Ray J, tentatively titled R&B, also scheduled for a 2010 release.[43]

Musical style

Themes and genres

Norwood, stylistically, has evolved since her 1994 start in music, at the age of 15. With her mother as her manager and stylist, Brandy developed a “good girl” image and a “hip-yet-wholesome” appeal.[44] She often cited Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Mariah Carey, as her biggest musical inspirations.[45][46][47]

Norwood’s initial sound was contemporary R&B, heavily rooted in gospel and soul music.[48] Her lyrics described various types of love, from casual and friendly love, to romantic and spiritual affairs.[46][48] Influenced by Houston and Carey, she incorporated a ballad-heavy style and an adult contemporary feel into her urban-pop sound, for her second studio album, Never Say Never.[49] Her third studio album, Full Moon, saw Norwood abandon her teenage appeal for a more adult and sensual edginess.[50] Along with her image, her voice had gone through a major change, losing the "girly-rasp" that she once had, for a now deeper and warmer voice, that had acquired a scratchy, evocative edge.[51] The music also reflected the change, as songs like “When You Touch Me” and “Like This” explored more adult, sexual topics, and a sound that blended her previous urban-pop sound with heavy influences of UK garage, dubstep, and progressively futuristic tones.[52] In 2004, her recent motherhood, life experiences, and growing affinity toward English rock band Coldplay, caused her to shift toward a more matured outlook and raw nature with her fourth studio album Afrodisiac, a venture into the organic sounds of soul blues and the nostalgic street-wise sound of 90’s hip-hop.[53] A four year hiatus, and a few life-changing occurrences caused Brandy to return to the music scene, in late 2008, with Human, her fifth studio album, which lyrically discussed topics of spiritual love, genuine heartache, and universal honesty, and musically explored combining her urban pop sound with elements of country and inspirational pop.[54] Early conversations with Norwood and her collaborators on future releases have revealed that her next project will take a more edgy, alternative sound, as she intends to experiment with different kinds of hip-hop on her next release.[40]

Voice and influences

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Norwood has the vocal range of a contralto, which spans three octaves. Often referred to as “B-Rocka”, Norwood had been commended for her smoky, slightly worn tone and the caliber of her voice. Josh Love of Stylus Magazine calls her voice “gorgeous” and “un-histronic”, while Nicolas Paul Godkin of Designer Magazine comments, saying “…her husky, dulcet tones impresses the most.”[55] Andy Kallman of AMG (All Music Guide) mentions that her voice is a treat to her, and she wears a slightly worn scratchy-ness surprisingly well. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly calls her voice “down-pillow soft”, and Keya Modessa of The Situation describes her voice as “deep, sultry, and different”. .”[56][57] While having been noted for her skilled vocal melismas and gospel-tinged ad-libs, Norwood is most known and praised for her heavy use of multitrack recording toward her own voice, to create highly elaborate and harmonically complex backing vocals, a technique that has become her signature. Terry Sawyer of Pop Matters Online comments, saying “While it's been said that Brandy's voice isn't exactly a barn burner, it's not mentioned enough that she does more than enough with what she's got. She never leaves her voice hanging in spotlit scarcity, folding it variegated terracing, whispering out the lead track, shouting in the back-up, and piling each song with enough interlocking sounds to create the tightly packed illusion of vocal massiveness.”[58]

Many of Norwood’s peers count her as a vocal influence including Kanye West, Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole, John Legend, Tyrese, Day26, Ciara, India.Arie, and Kelly Rowland among others.[59][60][61][62][63][64][65] Singer/Actress Beyonce mentioned that Norwood was a “great singer” and that she “loves her vocal arrangements.”[66] Bajan singer and model Rihanna revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that her 2007 multi-platinum album, Good Girl Gone Bad, was primarily influenced by Brandy. In the interview she stated, “[Brandy] really helped inspire that album, I listened to [Afrodisiac] everyday [while in the studio].[67] Rock musician John Frusciante, former guitarist of legendary rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers praises Brandy, calling her voice “multi-dimensional” and “inspiring”. In describing her voice and signature sound he said, “You can't hear [the elaborate harmonies] with your conscious: you have to hear her voice with your subconscious.” He also mentioned that Norwood was the “main inspiration” behind the guitar work on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s 2006 Grammy winning album, Stadium Arcadium.[68]

However, on many occasions, Norwood has been thought of as merely a talented muse, that music producers and songwriters have used to exercise their own artistic and creative energies.[69][70] This theory has been most notably linked with Norwood’s most frequent collaborator, producer Rodney Jerkins, and his own Darkchild imprint, on which many of their collaborations do not include songwriting or production from Norwood herself. Her work with Timbaland and other producer/songwriters outside of her usual circle has also seen Brandy only responsible for vocal arrangements and delivery, rather than actual writing or producing. However, throughout her musical career, Norwood has received a numerous amount of awards and accolades, and remains one of the most influential artists of her time.[71]

Film and television career

In 1993, while recording her debut album, Brandy was given the role of Danesha Turrell in the ABC sitcom Thea, playing the 12-year-old daughter of protagonist Thea Turrell (Thea Vidale). The series was ended eight months after its release but earned her a Young Artist Award nomination for "Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series." Her brief engagement earned Brandy her first starring role in the UPN sitcom Moesha. Appearing alongside Sheryl Lee Ralph and Countess Vaughn, she played Moesha Mitchell, a typical 14-year-old girl from Los Angeles growing into adulthood. The program was first broadcasted during January 1996 on UPN, and soon became the most watched show broadcasted on the television network. Norwood who had not considered herself an actress before, gained confidence finally: "I think Moesha is so much like me that I feel real comfortable."[72] In 2001, the network canceled the show after six seasons on the air, leaving it ending with a cliffhanger for a scrapped seventh season.[73]

In 1997, Norwood was hand-picked by executive producer Whitney Houston[74] to play the title character in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s television version of Cinderella featuring a multi-cultural cast that also included Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters and Houston. The two-hour Wonderful World of Disney special garnered an estimated 60 million viewers, giving the network its highest ratings in the time period in 16 years,[75] and won an Emmy Award. About filming Brandy later told Jet: "It was the best experience I could ever have."[74] A year after, Brandy made her big screen debut after winning the supporting role of sassy Karla Wilson in the franchise-flick I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. The movie outperformed the original with a total of 16.5 million at its opening weekend but critical reaction towards the film was largely disappointing, with film review site Rotten Tomatoes calculating a poor rating of 7% based on 46 reviews.[76] Norwood, however, earned positive reviews for her "bouncy" performance,[77] which garnered her both Blockbuster Entertainment Award and MTV Movie Award nominations for "Best Actress" and "Best Breakthrough Female Performance" respectively. In 1999, she co-starred with Diana Ross in the telefilm drama Double Platinum.

Since the early 2000s, Norwood's focus on acting has decreased to occasional guest appearances on several television shows such as Reba (2002), Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (2002), American Dreams (2004), House (2005) and One on One (2006). While plans for a Touchstone Television-produced sitcom for The CW network, scripted by Mara Brock Akil for the 2004–2005 season, failed to materialize,[78][79] a 2009 pilot episode for the ABC series This Little Piggy, also starring Jeff Davis, Rebecca Cheskoff and Kevin Rahm, was recast.[79]

Reality Television

Norwood's foray in reality television started in 2002’s with the MTV series “Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery”, the show documented the final months of Norwood's pregnancy with her daughter Sy'rai.

In 2010, Norwood and her brother Ray-J will appear in the VH1 reality program “Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business,” along with their parents, entertainment manager and mother Sonja and musical father Willie Norwood. The one-hour, 11-episode series will give viewers a first-hand glimpse into the lives of the Norwood family and their family business, Rn’B Productions. Run by Sonja, Rn’B Productions features a roster of musical artists including Brandy, Ray J, and their father Willie, who also serves as the company’s vocal coach. But with Sonja ready to take a step down, Brandy and Ray J will have to fill her shoes quickly all the while taking the family business to the next level. The show documents Brandy as she records her next album with Timbaland, while raising her seven-year-old daughter Sy’rai. Her younger brother Ray J digs beyond his notorious bad boy image and collaborates on his own musical project with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and other producers. The show will premiere on April 11, 2010, at 9 p.m.[80]

Personal life

Norwood attended Hollywood High Performing Arts Center but didn't go to high school as she was hired a private tutor from tenth grade on.[8] In 1996, she became a freshman at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[8]

In 1996, she shared a short "chaste" relationship with Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant, whom she accompanied to his prom at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.[81][82] Between February 1997 and January 1998, she dated Boyz II Men lead singer Wanya Morris, who she cited her "first love."[83] Five year elder Morris reportedly ended their relationship a month before her nineteenth birthday.[84] Also during their work on the Never Say Never album, she briefly dated rapper Ma$e.[85]

During the ensuing production of the Full Moon album, Norwood became involved romantically with producer Robert "Big Bert" Smith. The couple quietly began a regular relationship during the summer of 2001 but their union did not become known until February 2002—the same month Norwood revealed that she was expecting her first child. However, a year after the birth of their daughter Sy'rai Iman Smith on June 16, 2002—an event tracked by the four-part MTV reality series Special Delivery—Norwood and Smith officially announced their separation.[86] It was not until 2004, that Smith revealed that the pair was actually never legally wed but they just had portrayed the notion of nuptials to preserve Norwood's public image.[87] Norwood later stated that she regarded her relationship with Smith as a "spiritual union and true commitment to each other."[87]

By the following year, Norwood had entered a relationship with Miami Heat guard Quentin Richardson. The couple soon got engaged in July 2004 but Brandy eventually ended her 15-month engagement with the NBA player in October 2005.[88] As reported, Norwood had to get a tattoo of Richardson's face on her back transformed into a cat.[88]

Car accident

During late 2006, TMZ publicized the story that Brandy was involved in a car wreck on a Los Angeles freeway on December 30. Following the accident, a statement to TMZ from Brandy's publicist, Courtney Barnes, confirmed her involvement in the fatal crash: "Brandy was involved in a car accident December 30, 2006 in Los Angeles where there was a fatality. She wishes to express her condolences publicly to the family of the deceased. Brandy asks that you respect the privacy of everyone involved at this time".[89] The accident claimed the life of 38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj—the driver of the Toyota that was struck by Brandy's Range Rover. Aboudihaj was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in critical condition and she died the next day. The man driving directly behind Brandy at the time of the crash had an exclusive conversation with TMZ; he revealed that the singer repeatedly blamed herself at the scene of the accident.[89] Norwood was not arrested and there was no evidence of use of drugs or alcohol. Norwood was not charged with vehicular manslaughter, due to "insufficient evidence". Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Brandy was driving her 2007 Range Rover at 65 mph and did not notice that cars in front of her had slowed considerably. Brandy's vehicle then slammed into the back of a 2005 Toyota, causing the Toyota to strike another vehicle before sliding sideways and impacting the center divider. As the Toyota came to a stop, it was hit by another vehicle.[90] A well-placed source in the California Highway Patrol, however, told TMZ Aboudihaj actually struck the car in front of her and then slammed on her brakes before Brandy made contact, the sudden stop caused Brandy to hit Aboudihaj's car.[91] L.A. County Coroner spokesman Captain Ed Winter told TMZ that toxicology reports show Aboudihaj had "slight traces" of marijuana in her system at the time of the crash.[92] In December 2007, Brandy's attorney, Blair Berk, released the following statement exclusively to TMZ: "We are extremely pleased that after a more thorough and extensive investigation by authorities, the Los Angeles City Attorney has determined that Brandy Norwood should not be charged with any crime whatsoever relating to the accident back in 2006." She continued, "These past 12 months have posed an extraordinary hardship for Brandy and her family, who have been unfairly forced to live under a cloud of suspicion initially caused by the ill-advised and premature press release sent out by the California Highway Patrol accusing Brandy of wrongdoing before the police investigation was even finished. However, Brandy continues to be mindful that she was so fortunate to be uninjured in this accident and there was a life lost that should be remembered".[93] Meanwhile, speaking in May 2009 to noted R&B writer Pete Lewis of 'Blues & Soul', Brandy herself stated: "The whole experience did completely change my life. And I can say that I think I'm a better person from it. You know, I still don't understand all of it and why all of it happened. But I definitely have a heart, and my heart goes out to everyone involved. I pray about it every single day, and that's all I can really say on the subject."[94] In December 2008 while on the Tyra Banks show, Brandy revealed that due to how the media covered the accident she hadn't gone outside for 3 months.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed against Norwood:

  • Aboudihaj's parents filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Norwood. The suit was filed on January 30, 2007[95] Lawyers for the family of the deceased claim, "Defendant Brandy Norwood was driving recklessly in the freeway when her car collided with Awatif Aboudihaj's car". The $50 million lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages. TMZ has obtained Brandy's response to the wrongful death suit filed against her. In the papers, filed May 23, Brandy says she "denies each and every allegation in the complaint and further denies that plaintiff's have been damaged in any sum or sums whatsoever." In addition, Brandy "alleges and asserts her Fifth Amendment privileges" and asks that the matter go to trial before a jury.[96] The lawsuit was initially set to go to trial in April 2009.[97] However, on November 13, 2009, TMZ reported that Norwood will not be going to a civil trial because she setteled with Aboubihaj's parents. TMZ stated that the terms of the settlement are secret.[98]
  • Another car that was involved in the accident was Donald Lite’s, who also filed a lawsuit against Norwood. Lite filed the lawsuit against Norwood, and the estate of the woman who died in the crash. Lite filed suit on December 8, 2008 claiming Norwood and Aboudihaj both failed to follow road regulations. Lite says their failure to keep a safe distance, mixed with their inability to travel at a safe speed, caused Brandy to rear-end Awatef, which sent Awatef's car smashing into his.[99] Lite says he's suffered "serious and permanent injuries" and that he has incurred large hospital bills. He is suing for an undetermined amount. Norwood has denied all of Lite's allegations and wants the matter to be decided by a jury.[100]
  • The other car that was involved in the accident was Mallory Ham's, who also filed a lawsuit against Norwood. Ham filed suit on May 25, 2007 claiming that Brandy "recklessly wantonly, unlawfully, and maliciously" operated the car. According to the document, Ham, who says he was "severely injured" as a result of the multi-car accident, is demanding that the singer pay for unspecified medical bills, pain and suffering, legal costs and punitive damages.[96] On July 14, 2009 it was announced that Ham setteled with Norwood for an undisclosed amount.[101]
  • Awatef Aboudihaj's husband, Marouane Hdidou, also filed a lawsuit against Norwood. The suit was filed on May 3, 2007. He claims that Brandy and another motorist named Mallory Ham were "recklessly and carelessly ... traveling too fast for conditions and "following too closely" on the 405 Freeway, which factored into the collision that killed his wife. Hdidou is suing for an undisclosed amount of financial relief to cover medical and funeral expenses, as well as legal costs and other damages.[102] He also said that as a result of his wife's death, Hdidou claims in the lawsuit that he has, "forever been deprived the support and maintenance, services, guidance, companionship, comfort, affection, solace, moral support, society, care, love, consortium and other benefits" from his wife. Hdidou has not yet settled with Norwood. He rejected a $1.2 million settlement offer in February 2009.[103]
  • Aboudihaj's two children also filed a lawsuit against Norwood. The two children will receive $300,000 each, according to court documents filed in L.A. County Superior Court on June 2, 2009.[103]


Studio albums

Compilation albums





Year Title Role Notes and Awards
1997 Cinderella Cinderella television movie
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Karla Wilson grossed $40,002,112[104]
Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Horror
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance
1999 Double Platinum Kayla Harris television movie
2001 Osmosis Jones Leah (voice) grossed $14,026,418[105]
Year Film Role Notes and Awards
1993 Thea Danesha Turrell Nominated — Young Artist Award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series
1996 Moesha Moesha Mitchell NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress
Nominated — Kid's Choice Award Favorite Television Actress (1998, 2000, 2001)
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress - TV (1999)
Nominated — Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series (1997, 1998, 1999)
Nominated — YoungStar Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series (1996)
2000 The Parkers crossover appearance
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Mystery Caller uncredited performance
Raising Dad
2004 American Dreams Gladys Knight performed "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1967)
2005 House herself
2006 One on One Michelle McGinty four-episode guest stint
2009 This Little Piggy Tina sitcom pilot

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "New Music: Timbaland f/ Bran’Nu – ‘Meet in tha Middle’". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  2. ^ "Brandy aka Bran’Nu & Timbaland in Miami". Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ a b NBC (2006-05-18). "Brandy, David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan named as judges of NBC'S America's Got Talent". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  4. ^ RIAA Editors. "Top Artists". Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  5. ^ Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna (2006-06-30). "The View´s Next Star: Brandy?".,,1209757,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Bringing Up Brandy". Essence Magazine. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  7. ^ "Snoop Reunites With Dre [..."]. MTV News. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-10-10. 
  8. ^ a b c d Helligar, Jeremy (1998-06-08). "Starry-Eyed". People.,,20125467,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  9. ^ David Nathan (2005-01-01). "Biography". SoulTracks. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  10. ^ Anita M. Samuels (1995-04-02). "Brandy; At 16, Her Debut Is a Sweet Success". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Shaggy The 'Humna Kid,' Brandy And Wanya, Mariah's 'Fantasy': This Week in 1995". MTV News. 2002-08-26. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
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