Here Are 23 Reasons Why I Am Giving Brandy Her Flowers

8 months ago 249

Brandy deserves her flowers so... here they are!

Brandy has and always will be one of my favorite artists.

Al Pereira / Getty Images

I remember when I first saw Moesha and I begged my mom to style me like Mo. The way Brandy has stretched herself as an artist and handled success so well is worth appreciating. Here are all the reasons Brandy deserves her flowers right away!

1. Moesha, obviously

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Can I even find the words to describe the impact of Moesha?! From Brandy’s excellent work as a leading actress in the UPN sitcom to the real-life themes of a blended family, maturing from girlhood to womanhood, and giving some of the best guest star moments known to television (Rest in Power Kobe Bryant). The real reason Moesha leads this list is that the show premiered on January 23, 1996, when I was five years old — meaning I grew up on it. It left an immense impact on me to see a beautiful, intelligent, soft yet powerful young Black woman on the television screen as she professed herself to be a writer, leader, and someone here to transform the world for the better. My goodness what a SLAY. 

Now I know that watching Moesha was like peeking into my soul because I, too, am a writer, leader, and someone here to transform the world for the better. Thanks, Brandy.

2. Giving Black Girl Princess in Cinderella

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Walt Disney's Cinderella is of course one of the most well-known stories of all time but the 1997 film starring Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston most definitely takes the cake because two queens slaying in one fairytale is always better than one. Seeing Cinderella with individual braids made me feel like my summer braids at camp were gonna attract my prince to come to make me a queen.

Let’s not forget the stellar performance of the late, great Whitney Houston who played Cinderella’s fairy godmother in the film. Seeing these two powerhouse women side by side was a beautiful display of sisterhood at a time when Hollywood was well-known for big diva battles between stars. To have Whitney and Brandy together in the story was analogous to the way mentorship can make all the difference in the life of a young woman. Plus some of my favorite behind-the-scenes videos are the ones of these two ladies rehearsing and recording music for the film. What a treat!

3. Dropping “The Boy is Mine” with Monica

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“The Boy is Mine” is an iconic record and music video. This 1998 single from Brandy’s album Never Say Never includes the vocal dazzlings of Monica and was inspired by the 1982 song called “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. In the song, two women find themselves singing about how they have fallen for the same man and each insists, well, that the boy is theirs.

I know that the notion of two women singing while arguing over the same man may not have aged well as I sit here in 2022, but the catchy hook and the beautifully directed video made the song a smash hit. The song was #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, nominated for three Grammys, and won the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The video was nominated for two MTV Music Video Awards and today it has more than 43 million views on YouTube. The video features some of the most 90s R&B fashion with Brandy in a cloth choker accessory and Monica with a gemstone on her forehead. As for the messaging in the song with two women arguing over the same man, the video clears all that up because they team up and kick him to the curb by the end. Another slay for Brandy in the 90s!

4. Contributing “Sittin’ Up In My Room” to the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack

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The 1995 romance film Waiting to Exhale stars Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon. The film is an adaptation of a Terry McMillian novel. It features a heavy-hitting soundtrack with music from Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Pattie LaBelle, Toni Braxton, SWV, TLC,  Mary J. Blige, Chanté Moore, CeCe Winans, and of course Brandy. 

Brandy’s song “Sittin’ Up In My Room” is the fifth track on the soundtrack project. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video shows clips from the movie and noticeably, a cameo of Donald Faison during the opening scene. The song and video vibe in a way that screams Moesha in the way that only Brandy could define the distinct aesthetic of the 90s.

5. Showing out in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

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The horror film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was released on November 13, 1998. This I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson, Bill Cobbs, and Matthew Settle. 

Fun fact: According to ScreenRant, Brandy was legitimately terrified of the actor who played the film’s killer. When Muse Watson found this out he found Brandy during lunch and she nearly jumped over people to run away from him. So the terror and fear from Brandy in this film isn’t just acting. That was real fear y’all.

6. Being a good big sister to Ray J on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood

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In typical Love & Hip Hop fashion, this episode centers on Ray J’s love triangle and relationship drama. After getting caught up between his ex Tierra Marie and his long-term partner Princess, he finds himself having to choose whom to apologize to first while his mom picks sides. All of this brings him to meet his sister Brandy to ask for her advice. Brandy does the wise thing and advises Ray J to take full responsibility for his actions a hard look at his behavior because he is the common demonitor.

On occasion, Brandy made appearances on the show as part of Ray J’s storylines but her role was far more supportive in comparison to their VH1 series The Family Business. When she does appear on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood it is often as lowkey as this scene where she is as wise as ever.

7. Bringing bars to The Cypher at the 2020 Hip Hop Awards

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Among artists, Brandy stands out for her values, originality, versatility, and grace. In The Cypher at the 2020 Hip Hop Awards Brandy joins Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor, and H.E.R. to spit some bars. The segment opens with Teyana Taylor rhyming over an instrumental version of “I Wanna Be Down” before H.E.R. takes over and the chorus arrives. Next Erykah comes in while a snap pops in the background then finally, Brandy comes through to sing the chorus and follows it up by spitting a verse over her throwback R&B song.

Brandy’s rap persona exists and it has depth. I am not surprised because the multi-hyphenate has always shown that she is more than a singer. This performance is history-making because I cannot name a single R&B singer of Brandy’s caliber and era to do anything of this sort. Usher might autotune sing in a triplet over a trap beat but even he isn’t out here rapping over his old hit songs. Brandy is legendary.

8. Opening up about struggling with depression

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In June 2020 Healthline reported 16.2 million adults in the United States, or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year. In August 2020 Brandy was interviewed by People TV where she opened up about her bouts with depression. 

During Brandy’s interview, she shared that the height of her success brought insecurities with it. “I struggled for sure with fame, and identity, and being put in a box of perfection,” she says to People. She says she’s no longer trying to be perfect and opts to stay centered or grounded—something that helps her find the light after darkness. Brandy goes on to bravely open up about her 2014 bout with depression which led her to better herself for her daughter.

9. Doing a 2020 Census performance

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On July 21, 2020, Brandy performed a virtual show to encourage people to complete their United States Census questionnaire online. During the first year of COVID-19, there were a couple of things happening: the presidential election and the census. While the world was waiting on researchers to study the virus and people stayed home, some things still needed to get done to maintain stability. Brandy tapped in to deliver this performance where she is accompanied by a keyboardist and guitarist to sing to top hits.

10. Collaborating with Tiwa Savage on “Somebody’s Son”

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This song and its corresponding video are beautiful from start to finish. Tiwa Savage sings on the hook that “this won’t be another heartbreak song” and she is right because it’s a love song.  Brandy joins Tiwa with a verse and on the hook with her airy vocals. Together with the two sing “somebody’s son gone find me one day, one day… somebody’s sone gone love me one day, one day” with a palpitating afrobeat rocking in the background.

Just at a time where I have been scouring for good love music, I stumbled upon this wondrous melody. More music like this, please! Brandy delivers another slay for continuing to be a purveyor of collaborating with Black female artists and of dropping music with a loving message.

11. Sharing the love that exists behind the scenes of Queens

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In October 2021 the cast of Queens joined the ladies of The View to dish about coming back to the TV screen, what it’s like to work together, and what happens on the show. Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, and Nadine Velazquez share that there is a real bond of sisterhood behind-the-scenes. Brandy and Eve share a laugh at how they have never met before despite rising to stardom as peers in the 90s. Both artists stand for female empowerment, so it’s no surprise that they get along quite well and share a great admiration for one another.

12. Going head-to-head with Eve in a rap battle on Queens

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This scene is iconic. Who knew Brandy had this swag? I’m sure Ray J knew, but I did not know. In this episode of Queens, Briana and Naomi battle each other in a cypher to establish whether Naomi will continue to write the group’s verses or if they can carry that responsibility. It’s already amazing to see Queen Eve back on the mic but to see her battle Brandy is wild. So the question here is who knocks the overall performance out of the park? 

13. Being humble while looking back at her astounding success

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In July 2020 Brandy was interviewed on Apple Music by Zane Lowe to discuss her latest album B7 and reflect on her success. Brandy discusses her feelings on fame. She says that she has fallen victim to fame and had her struggles with it. However, she’s been blessed to come out the other side of it. Ultimately she says, “It’s a very scary thing. I don’t like fame, Zane.” Her daughter is interested in music and Brandy says she’s overprotective because “fame can kill you, it really can if you’re not careful.”

14. Paying tribute to Whitney Houston at the 2012 BET Awards

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At the 2012 BET Awards, Brandy honored Whitney Houston by doing a tribute performance. With a live band behind her and high heels on, Brandy belts out “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as the whole house rocks. Few artists can cover a Whitney Houston song and do it justice but Brandy’s tribute is a perfect choice.

Brandy worked with Whitney Houston early in her career on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack when Babyface chose her to be on the record “Sittin’ Up In My Room”. That’s when he knew that something was special about Brandy. Once Whitney heard Brandy’s voice, she knew that teenager would be as powerful as her one day.

15. The soulful “Missing You” from the Set It Off soundtrack

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The 1996 crime film Set It Off stars Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise, John C. McGinley, and Blair Underwood. This box office success has a soundtrack that includes multiple charting songs, including one featuring vocals from Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight, and Chaka Kahn. “Missing You” reached 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ten on the Billboard Hot R&B singles chart. It went on to be nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards.

Brandy vocalizes her light crystalizing voice mixed with some use of her lower register which works so well with the likes of Gladys Knight on the track. 

16. Getting Punk’d with grace

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Back in the early 200s when MTV’s Punk’d was the hottest, weirdest thing on television Brandy and Ray J starred on an episode. When the police pulled them over to find some expensive jewels in the car, it looked like two were caught riding dirty. Brandy calmly explains how the entertainment business works and why someone would send over jewels with tags on them. But the cops don’t buy it. Brandy and Ray J squirm to come up with a story as things escalate. Eventually, she flies away running when she finds out she’s been Punk’d.

17. When she let her Instagram followers watch her gather her walk

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Occasionally a girl knows when she slays and Brandy is no different. On this day Brandy’s wearing a hot pink suit featuring a cropped jacket with embellished shoulders. So, she decides to give her Instagram followers a peek at the look by doing a runway walk. The suit and hair are gorgeous but the first few times she does the walk are unsuccessful, which she announces before trying again. This slay is silly but a slay nonetheless.

18. Revealing how she deals with haters

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In this May 2018 interview on TrueExclusives Brandy is asked about how she deals with social media today versus critics in the 1990s. The interviewer says there were no haters in the 90s and Brandy disagrees. She says that she got hate on the radio but it’s not quite like someone spending their time on social media saying mean things about her. Brandy finds it difficult to understand why anyone would want to spend their time that way. Honestly, I couldn’t have said it better.

19. Slaying Charlemagne on The Breakfast Club

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Brandy and Monica stopped by Hot 97’s The Breakfast Club to be interviewed about working together after 15 years. The interview began well but along the way, Charlemagne’s comments seemed to take Brandy aback. For those familiar with the radio show, his is par for the course as each host plays a role and Charlemagne’s has often been to antagonize guests. Despite his attempts to rile her up, Brandy remained calm, cool, and collected as she challenged him on his behavior. Slay, Queen for staying classy while wildly uncomfortable.

20. Teaming up with Monica for a Verzuz battle

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Speaking of Brandy and Monica, they joined each other for a Verzuz battle in August 2020 at Tyler Perry Studios. Watching the two ladies bond over being artists, mothers, and living legends is incredibly heart-warming. This Verzuz episode is less of a battle and has more of a cookout listening party vibe. 

When COVID-19 hit much of the world shut down, access to outside was limited, and whew did new and interesting streaming content dry up real quick. Verzuz not only brought fresh content, but it also brought communities together in the way a really good family reunion does. The best part here is watching Brandy and Monica jam to “Have You Ever” by Brandy.

21. Giving this grown and sexy performance of “Sittin’ Up In My Room” at the 2015 Soul Train Awards

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Twenty years after recording and releasing the hit “Sittin’ Up In My Room” Brandy performs the song at the 2015 Soul Train Awards. Her smooth dance moves are accompanied by backup dancers and Babyface on a shimmering piano. It’s any wonder that Babyface produced it because it’s a real R&B love song. Babyface is also known to tell a story or two about how Whitney Houston predicted Brandy’s success.

22. Further canonizing the already classic “I Wanna Be Down” by remixing it at the 2014 BET Awards

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Brandy’s debut single “I Wanna Be Down” was released on her 1994 self-titled album. The song is flirtatious as she lets a boy know how lovely she is so he’ll like her. In 2014 Brandy revisited the track by remixing it at the BET Awards with MC Lyte, YoYo, and Queen Latifah. To the cheers of a packed house, Brandy is joined on stage by all of these royal emcees one by one. The performance signifies a true moment of honor and recognition for Brandy’s musical impact that now counts her among the greatest artists of all time. In true goddess fashion, Brandy’s vocals are crisp and unmatched during the show.

23. Joining The Game on BET as Chardonnay

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Brandy joined the cast of The Game on BET during its sixth season run. The show first aired on The CW in 2006 as a spin-off series from Girlfriends. The show ran for 148 episodes between the two networks and became a stand-alone success. When Brandy joined as Chardonnay, she brought some attitude with her to spice things up and break that Moesha mold. Brandy has confessed that Chardonnay is inspired by Tamar Braxton and a few Love & Hip Hop cast members. Perhaps the quick humor and attitude of Chardonnay are what stretched the actor to take on Naomi in Queens on NBC.

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