Brandy went from sittin’ up in her room to sitting on top of the world. The R&B superstar with the ear-to-ear smile was a force in the music industry from an early age, releasing her quadruple platinum, self-titled debut album at the age of 15. There would be no sophomore slump either, as Brandy’s second album, Never Say Never, achieved quintuple platinum status and earned her and duet partner Monica a Grammy for mega hit The Boy is Mine.
In between albums, Brandy ventured into film and television, including a starring role in her very own sitcom, Moesha. And then there was the night she attended prom with an up-and-coming basketball star by the name of Kobe Bryant. Needless to say, it was good to be Brandy in the 90s. But what has the “I Wanna Be Down” singer been up to in recent years? Here’s a look at what happened to Brandy.
She put on her dancing shoes
When things cooled off for Brandy, the former R&B sensation did what many celebs have done to give their career a jolt: She joined Dancing with the Stars. Brandy was paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy in 2010 and established herself as a favorite due to her high scores. But the dance competition voters weren’t as enamored with Brandy as the judges and surprisingly sent her home in the semifinals, ironically after she’d earned her first perfect score. Hey, nobody ever said DWTS was fair.
Brandy took the elimination pretty hard, holding back tears after the announcement. “I don’t know how to feel right now,” she said. “It hasn’t processed yet for me.” Clearly the show ended up being more than just a paycheck for her. Brandy later said on The View that DWTS “completely changed my life. I feel like I’ve tapped back into my confidence and into my power. I didn’t believe in myself for a long time. This show has definitely brought the best out of me.”
She reunited with frenemy Monica
Fourteen years after they argued over the same guy in “The Boy is Mine,” Brandy and Monica reunited to release the female-empowering “It All Belongs to Me.” The 2012 track saw the two R&B singers kicking their respective boyfriends to the curb for being bums. Brandy told the Hollywood Reporter “We (have) both been through a lot of different things in our lives, and we just wanted to say something completely different than ‘The Boy is Mine’…”
Unlike “The Boy Is Mine,” which spent a whopping 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998, the follow up failed to crack the chart. And if that isn’t bad enough, it seems the two starlets aren’t exactly on the best of terms either. When asked in 2016 if she would take part in Monica’s #SoFarGoneChallenge, Brandy responded “Chile Bye.” Monica opted to “take the high road” afterward on The Real, to which Brandy responded via Instagram: “#IKnowTHEREALStoryThatEverybodyDoesntKnow.” Whatever #THEREALStory is, Brandy has kept it to herself.
She was over reality TV… until she wasn’t
Reality TV made the Osbournes a household name but, alas, couldn’t do the same for the Norwoods. Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business — which revolved around Brandy, brother and fellow R&B singer Ray J, their momager Sonja and dad/voice coach Willie — lasted only two seasons on VH1. One possible reason the show didn’t catch on: Brandy felt her personal life lacked the juicy drama you would find on Basketball Wives and Love & Hip-Hop.
Brandy told Sister 2 Sister (via Madamenoire) in 2012 “I don’t want to do reality shows. … I don’t think I work well on reality shows. I think I’m too boring for reality.” But she hasn’t completely turned her back on the genre. Brandy went on to serve as a mentor on Majors & Minors and compete on My Kitchen Rules and then in 2013 backtracked on her earlier statements. “I said I wouldn’t do reality TV again but… I would consider it if it were centered more on my career,” she told PYNK Mag (via Madamenoire). We knew she couldn’t stay away.
Her comeback album wasn’t much of a comeback
Brandy wasn’t offended that many were calling her 2012 album Two Eleven a comeback. In fact, she agreed. It was her first album in four years and the follow up 2008’s Human, which, ahem, Brandy would rather forget about. “I am definitely calling it a comeback,” she told Reuters. “I know for a fact that I’ve been gone for a while and I couldn’t find my way. I couldn’t get it together.”
Critics gave Two Eleven rave reviews, with Billboard calling it “her most focused album” since her 1998 debut. Fans, however, weren’t as enthusiastic about the album, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but sold fewer first week copies than Human.
Read More: https://www.thelist.com/127977/whatever-happened-to-brandy/?utm_campaign=clip