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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Brandy's "Behind The Music"

Brandy Norwood has learned a hell of a lot in her 32 years.  Entering this business at the age of 13, the powerful singer has finally learned the difference between loving perfection and loving herself.  But it came at the high price of eating disorders, lies & depression. 

 

Check out our recap of Brandy's full VH1 "Behind The Music" episode where she takes us on her journey from a naive but extremely talented young girl to the strong-hearted & confident woman she has become...

The eye opening story of Brandy Norwood's musical life--which is completely intertwined with her personal life and experiences--aired last night on VH1's "Behind The Music."  Brandy revealed how her controversial relationship with a much older Wanya Morris led to her depression, how the team around her pushed for the squeaky clean girl next door image--which led to her complete unhappiness, her pregnancy and fake marriage which was the demise of her career, and finding love (in boyfriend Ryan & herself) again which has led to a fabulous comeback.  Here's our complete recap:

 

On Brandy's religious upbringing
Brandy was discovered on the stage of her father's church. Brother Ray-J said people always wanted to listen because she could do amazing things with her voice. Brandy revealed she was able to sing with freedom in the chrch because she felt supported and she felt no judgment.

On attending first concert
It was a Whitney Houston concert and Brandy cried when she finally saw and heard her. She was taken aback by all the people watching Whitney in amazement and knew right then that's what she wanted to do. Brandy said she knew she would become a star herself because she didn't want anything else.

On her big break
Execs at Atlantic Records listened to her demo and offered her a deal at age 13. Brandy's mother, Sonja (pictured above), quit her job to become her full time manager. Her mother, (who is known in the industry as the ultimate stage mom), wanted to make sure every aspect of Brandy career was handled perfectly. Her debut single "Wanna Be Down" took over the charts in 1994 and her debut self-titled album went quadruple platinum and boasted 10 top singles. brandy's team wanted to keep up her image as a clean cut, perfect American girl. She was soon on top of the game with music, awards & concerts.

On her controversial relationship with Wanya Morris
Wanya called her when she was just 15 (he was 21) saying he wanted her to accompany Boyz II Men on their tour. Brandy fell in love with him, but wasn't allowed to date because she was too young. When B & Wanya shot their duet "Brokenhearted" in '95, she finally got up the courage to tell him she loved him. The relationship blossomed into official coupledom and real love. Brandy's management was unhappy about how a relationship with a much older man would affect her squeaky clean image. So Brandy & Wanya continued with a secret relationship and blatantly lied to the public about it. With all the secrecy--it took a toll and Wanya fell in love with someone else. At 18, Brandy was heartbroken and crushed…leading to her writing second hit album, Never Say Never, with Rodney Jerkins. The song "Tomorrow" was completely about Wanya. "The Boy Is Mine" and 5 other singles were #1's. As well as the whole album. And her first ever Grammy was for her and Monica's history making collabo "The Boy Is Mine."

On her show "Moesha"
Was offered the show based on her own persona.  Moesha was a perfect girl making straight A's and going through everyday teen life.  Was the perfect synergy for her.

On becoming the first African American princess of Disney
Brandy's idol Whitney Houston cast Brandy in the Disney remake of Cinderella. Brandy commented that she gave her the opportunity to be the first African American princess and she was so cool and down to earth. And one of the brightest lights she'd ever seen. B revealed she still has all 6 Barbie dolls created in her image based off the tv movie. She broke a color barrier by having the Disney role, Barbie dolls & the like.

On her eating disorder as a teen
At 19, Brandy revealed she stopped eating properly and suffered from bulimia and anorexia. Everyone thought she was perfect on the outside with her career being on top, but she was the unhappiest teenager in the world. "People don't understand that being the hottest star or making the most money does not mean anything. I'm here to tell you I was making so much money - I was omnipresent - and I was the unhappiest teenager probably in the world."
She decided to just become the skinniest possible person she could be in her struggle and obsession with perfection.  And it took a toll on her health.

On her controversial pregnancy & fake marriage
She returned to studio to do her 3rd album, Full Moon, with Rodney Jerkins again. She worked alongside music producer Robert Smith as well, and started to fall for him. She found herself unexpectedly pregnant with Robert's child, and that wasn't "ok" for the Brandy brand.  Brandy remarked that it's a sin to get pregnant out of wedlock in her family, based on their christian background and beliefs.  "Everybody around me tried to force me to get married, so why don't I just say I'm married. Because I don't want to get married. It's the biggest mistake I've ever made."

She blatantly lied to the media saying she & Robert had secretly gotten married in the summer and would keep the time and place secret and personal.  She did an MTV special called "Brandy's Special Delivery," which followed her last month of pregnancy until her daughter Sy'Rai was born.  At one point, Robert felt Brandy had gone into too much detail tot he media about the problems they were having as a couple. So Robert went on Wendy Williams' radio show to expose their fake marriage saying it never happened. Everyone around Brandy told her not to own up to it and to not address it. And the entire situation devastated her career and her fans. "The lie abut being married was the fall of my career. Everything changed."  Brandy has never addressed or fessed up to lying about the marriage until this "Behind The Music" episode.

On changing her music direction to more sexy on Aphrodisiac
Brandy said she felt totally awkward doing this "sexy phase" and it just wasn't believable. The album was a flop.

On that fatal accident on the 405
Brandy slammed into a car from the back while on the L.A. interstate, while going 65 mph, and it caused a huge pile up. A mother of 2 was killed. And she couldn't handle the blame. "Whether it was my fault or not, I was still involved." People called a murderer and it was difficult handling all the criticism. "I didn't wake up that day to get involved in a fatal car crash."

There was insufficient evidence to charge her with any crime.  She said she gets hurt when people still gossip about it and try to hurt her.

On 5th album Human
On this LP, Brandy channeled all of her hurt and past experiences.  It was her way of apologizing for her past mistakes and she wanted to reconnect with her purpose.

 

On her big 2010-2012 comeback & gaining control
She signed on for "DWTS and opened her life on the VH1 reality show "The Family Business". Her mother Sonya stepped down as her manager after 20 years. Brandy signed a new deal with RCA and started recording her new album (now titled Two Eleven). She also reunited with old friend Monica on "It All Belongs to Me."

On her final days with Whitney Houston

Brandy & Monica were prepping to perform on stage for Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party. Whitney came to their soundcheck and told them to tell the legendary Ricky Minor to turn the band down because she couldn't hear them! Brandy thought it was so cute and that was the last time she saw her. Sonya told her 2 days after that Whitney was dead, and her heart left her body. Attended Whitney's funeral on Feb 18th.  "I genuinely loved her so much."

On Whitney Houston's death
Whitney died on Brandy's birthday, which Brandy said made her feel like she now has a responsibility to do Whitney wants her to do--stay an inspiration and a light. "She gave me so much. She gave me a dream."

 

On her new love, music exec Ryan Press
"I am very much in love. In a divine love. If he's not the one, then I am done with love honey. So he better act right."

 

Here's the full episode below:

The made us fall in love with B all over again--like we were when she hit the scene with "Wanna Be Down." 

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Facebook's picture

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd i am ur #1 fan luv u girl get it b get it
Nena bringing it bck's picture

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd i am ur #1 fan luv u girl get it b get it
Nena bringing it bck's picture

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd

Ok b ready and waiting 4 u nd i am ur #1 fan luv u girl get it b get it
Nena bringing it bck's picture

I personally feel that Brandy

I personally feel that Brandy was sincere and honest about her life and past experiences. She was such an emotional teenager and young lady. To see her now with confidence and a strong sense of who she truly is is wonderful yes the music industry has changed but true talent still should be accepted and welcomed. Unlike these fake artist who continue to put out crap and people slurp it up with a straw.....
Dyamond1's picture

We fall down and we get up!

We fall down and we get up! Celebrities are human and other than fame they hurt, lie, bleed and everything like us. We should not judge but we do! She'll be all right and especially if she is all right with self. Her family and true friends are all that matters. Thanks, Brandy for being transparent knowing that sometimes you have to go through more than enough to give more than you can... God Bless You and your family!
Anonymous's picture

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brandy daughter's picture

Can't lie, when I was a

Can't lie, when I was a little girl, I wanted to be like Brandy. Had my Brandy barbie in the orange outfit with the single braids and everything. But when I heard how she lied about the marriage it pushed me away from her, I was too young to understand why she'd lie about it, just that she'd lied. Regardless, her talent is undeniable and I hope she can turn everything around now.
Anonymous's picture

Yay Brandy!!!! Loves her!

Yay Brandy!!!! Loves her!
Onyx's picture

I hope this btm gives her a

I hope this btm gives her a little more shine...ppl tend to forget that even tho she still is super young, she is a legend in her own right, she has graced the stage with Aretha, Patti, Whitney, etc, broke a color barrier, top selling, amazing singer, and actress, nothing about brandy is mediocre or a gimic, i cant wait to go out and support her new album, like i ALWAYS do, 3 copies here i come-HOPE YOU ALL DO THE SAME!!!!- that is all
LOVE FOR RNB's picture

❤❤--- I'm Female, 25 and

❤❤--- I'm Female, 25 and just this Christmas had a brief encounter with a mature man. ??It was wonderful. We met via internet dating on this site:❤❤ -- ---[Mi XedM α TCHing. C óM ]-It's where black white sing-les looking for someone to enjoy their lifestyle with. Come in and stay a while. Complete your profile. Post a message, a picture of yourself and check out the photo galleries. Give it a try, you will find someone you like here - ;) a good way to meet like-minded people, and he actually approached me first. It just so happens I like black man and he likes whtie woman around my age. We had an amazing day and later on he joined me at a hotel. It was like a fantasy come true. Amazing company, amazing sex too and a really warm and loving man. He will turn 36 this month, and my goodness what a connection we had that day.?? -- You could meet her/him at *** .?? --- m'i'x'ed M'A'T'C'H' i n 'g '_c(0)m-❤❤ --
Angfdfasfcsfansddsbbus's picture

Brandy shouldn't have to list

Brandy shouldn't have to list all the men who were apart of her life on BTM. Kobe, Quentin and Flo didn't make the cut but its not like they're asking all the male participants for BTM to list all the women they've been linked to. Thats just bias.
xrey's picture

Her chosing not to share

Her chosing not to share aspects of her life does not a liar make. People talk about white lies. She just gave the world the gloss they needed to keep her career going. And it gave her a backlash. But Beyonce has done that about many thinks and it worked. Hmmm.
AJ's picture

Yaaay Brandy! All things

Yaaay Brandy! All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord! She deserves all the happiness and success that has come to her. I love seeing good things happen for good people! *does "I Wanna Be Down" dance*
mirhya's picture

I liked her BTM. She came

I liked her BTM. She came full circle. She fell, admitted her wrong, and now finding a new focus. So often celebs fail to show us the side of their personality that existed before the fame and fortune. The regular everyday ' if this fails, I am on to plan B'. love Brandy!
Anonymous's picture

Her behinsd the music was

Her behinsd the music was pretty good, just wish she would show more or talk more about her daughter. you almost forget that she has daughter b/c you never she pcs of them together
Anonymous's picture

I totally agree with the

I totally agree with the commenter about the rich and famous complaining about being rich and famous! Brandy's BTM episode left out a few things. However, it seems that she still is not taking responsibility for the horrific crash that she caused which left a mother of two dead. If she had not been "Brandy", some type of charges would've been filed. It would've been more than her just opening up her checkbook. She said "whether it was my fault or not, I was involved". What exactly does that mean? It was her fault! I can only imagine how the two kids whose mother died in the crash feel........just saying.
tanya's picture

THANK YOU!!!! You said

THANK YOU!!!! You said exactly what my daughter and I got from the show...NOOOOOOOO One is taking notice of this fact. Great show...Great young lady buuuuut ....lets talk about that accident statment...smells like "deenial" to me! It just does. She needs to clear that up and address that properly. ANYbody else wouldve caught a bigger down fall.
Anonymous's picture

I need to watch the

I need to watch the episode...did she speak on why her daughter was omitted from the reality series "The Family Business"? It just seemed weird to not show her but then not even speak a word of her like she didn't exist. SMH
Ms_Leo's picture

she has always stated that

she has always stated that she wants to protect her daughter and didnt want her to be exploited on the show. She wanted her to grow up as a normal kid outside of the fame, glitz and glamour of being a celebrity kid. I also think her father has said he didnt want his daughter on tv.
Dyamond1's picture

Love her!!!!

Love her!!!!
Lucypearl!@#'s picture

No one is perfect. Although

No one is perfect. Although there were quite a few things left out, gotta remember the special can only be an hour so other than that, it was still good and insightful. She has learned a lot, I believe she was sincere. Listening and seeing those first videos/songs reminded me of when she first came out. Loved her then and still love her now.
Elaine's picture

go ahead baby!!!

go ahead baby!!!
Anonymous's picture

why did that btm make her

why did that btm make her seem like shes only been in 2 relationships? what about kobe? bitch know she been around the block! she is so self centered alien looking monster!
Anonymous's picture

"alien looking

"alien looking monster"......funny and true
sean's picture

I fell in LOVE with Brandy

I fell in LOVE with Brandy all over again after watching #BehindTheMusic. Celebrities have it hard despite all the fame and fortune. I wish her well and happy to see she has finally found love..I look forward to her new album oh and I think short hair looks so good on her.
Farrah's picture

I will always be a Brandy

I will always be a Brandy fan. She has true talent. What happened in her personal life was tough. I refuse to judge people, so I won't. We all make mistakes in life, ALL OF US. I'm very happy she has come to terms with her mishaps, and finally found happiness. She looks amazing these days. Her aura exudes confidence! #TeamBrandyForever
Anonymous's picture

Am I the only real Brandy fan

Am I the only real Brandy fan who noticed that her relationship and engagement to basketball player QUENTION RICHARDSON was ommited from her behind the music special? I mean she had the mans face tatted on her back, they lived together and were in love, and from what was explained at the time was her inspiration behind the "AFRODISIAC" album. Makes me wonder why he was left out of her story....
BusyBee's picture

I'm wondering if this is the

I'm wondering if this is the guy she called Satan in an interview with Oprah. She was living with a guy when she was on Moesha and her and her mother said he was abusive to her. Damn, Brandy has been around block a few times.
Anonymous's picture

My husband pointed out the

My husband pointed out the same thing, as well as Kobe taking her to prom (which to me isn't that important).
Anonymous's picture

I heard they had a nasty

I heard they had a nasty breakup. Maybe she wasn't trying to give him or their past any shine on national tv. #necoleshrug
2012's picture

It was interesting how it was

It was interesting how it was always "Brandy's handlers" that were blamed for her actions or inactions. As far as I knew, her "handlers" were her mother and father. Additionally, if she wanted to apologize (as she said she did) to her fans when her ex told everyone that they were in fact not married, she should have. You can't blame it on your handlers that you didn't apologize because "they wouldn't let you"?! Brandy is a great talent but it seems her career was more derailed by her inability to take responsibility and do what is right when she came to crossroads. I'm not judging because I've been there done that, but at this point she's too old to still be candy coating things. On a lighter note, I love her and her new boo! ;)
hellogoodbye's picture

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babygirl's picture

stop it you stalker!!

stop it you stalker!!
sean's picture

I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!! TRUE

I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!! TRUE TALENT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sweetz's picture

i understand what she means

i understand what she means about ppl still talking about the past but it still bothers me that from what i know she still never reached out to the family like she should have...everytime she speaks on it, she focuses only on how it affects her, never, never mentioning how it affects the woman's family .."whether it was my fault or not i was still involved" wowsers....she still dont see past herself.
tanyamichelle's picture

I also think people are

I also think people are bothered by the fact that she walked away from it only having to pay the family off. It was a massive car crash and pile up caused by her allegedly being on a cell phone. Had it been a regular mojo, they would have been locked up, put on house arrest, probation, or something.
Anonymous's picture

I watched this last night and

I watched this last night and it reminded me of how great music was back in the 90s. She had a lot of banging hits. Everyone wants fame and fortune, but the price is extremely high. Living a public lie, while trying to have some normalcy seems a bit much. I thought the VH1 story would talk about when she had a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalized when she quit Moesha. Either way, it was very insightful and I wish her the best in trying to relaunch her career. The music industry is far from what it used to be.
Anonymous's picture

She was hospitalized when she

She was hospitalized when she fainted on the set of Moesha from her anorexia. She had stopped completely and was surviving on Diet Coke only!
Anonymous's picture

Maybe so, but she also had a

Maybe so, but she also had a mental breakdown. Sonja found homegirl balledup, rocking back and forth, and giggling at shit that wasn't there.
Anonymous's picture

Wonderful story for young

Wonderful story for young women. Brandy is one of the few great singers still remaining. We can tell she didn't sell her soul.
Anonymous's picture

the only thing i got from

the only thing i got from this is that brandy is a "blatantly liar".....her words, not mine!!
moe's picture

yes!!

yes!!
Anonymous's picture

Truth is, this music industry

Truth is, this music industry is shady, you can really have a mental breakdown after trying to live up to everyone's standards. We are all human so that means no one is perfect. I loooovvvve Brandy. She is definitely my favorite RnB singer. What occurred in the should stay in the past so those ignorant people need to leave my Brandy alone!! #TeamBrandy
Annley's picture

I love Brandy and it was sad

I love Brandy and it was sad to see that she was in so much pain when i thought she was the happiest teen in the world. i still didn't know why she was so sad, was it all cause of Wanya?
Anonymous's picture

Luvs Brandy. I enjoyed seeing

Luvs Brandy. I enjoyed seeing her interview, even felt like crying myself when she talked about that fatal car crash & Whitney's death. I was reminiscing HARD on her old hits though--made me reach for my Ipod. I truly hope this guy she's seeing now is her Prince Charming. She deserves it.
Godiva-Diva...Re-elect Obama!!!'s picture

Wow! I had no idea that

Wow! I had no idea that Brandy went through all of that.
QueenSafira's picture

sorry, but i just couldnt sit

sorry, but i just couldnt sit through it....brandy has always come across as phoney to me. she always seems to say what she thinks white folks want to hear. And i cant stand to hear rich people complain about life. so i sat throught about 7 mins, and had to turn it.
monica's picture

Love Brandy. Wish her success

Love Brandy. Wish her success and peace
Anonymous's picture

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