Brandy Rayana Norwood, also known as Brandy, was born on February 11th, 1979 in McComb, a small town in Mississipi. Her younger brother is performing artist Ray-J.
Brandy’s father, a music director, accepted a job offer in a Californian church not long after Brandy was born. With the job, the family moved to Carson, a suburb in Los Angeles. Officially singing since the age of two, Brandy could sing before she even started talking. Her father started working as a church music director, and she joined the Gospel choir and sand lead roles most of the time. She didn’t know she would make it a living until she saw Whitney Houston’s video for “How Will I Know” on VH1.
As soon as Brandy saw Houston on television, she ran up to her mom and told her she wanted to become a professional singer.
Entering her early teenage years, manager Chris Strokes discovered Brandy and took her to shop around record companies, seeking a good record deal. She attended a party held by the notorious Atlantic Recording Corporation and sang in front of many important people in the music industry. Seeing that nobody was paying attention to her, Brandy became the center of attention by telling the crowd how rude it was. She sang once again, this time catching an executive’s hear. Brandy was then signed to Atlantic at the tender age of 14. Her mother, Sonja Norwood, automatically quit her job as a financial analyst to become Brandy’s full-time manager. A year later, Brandy’s self-titled album was released and was an instant success. Songs like “I Wanna Be Down,” “Best Friend,” and “Brokenhearted” topped the charts for several weeks. Her hit “Baby” also earned her a 1996 Grammy nomination.
To date, Brandy has sold more than four million copies in the US alone, making Brandy one of the most successful teenage female singer. With her first effort, Brandy opened many doors for young female artists in the likes of Monica, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears.