Brandy, 41, has found herself in the midst of tragedy and controversy in her short life. Despite her image of sparkling positivity, Brandi found herself in a deep, dark depression.
Coming out with her first album in nearly eight years, she is ready to talk about her mental health.
At the age of 15, Brandy became famous with her debut single, “I Wanna Be Down”. She had a soulful tone that would earn her a chart-topping duet with Monica four years later. That song “The Boy is Mine” from her sophomore album earned her a Grammy.
Shortly after, her TV fame on Moesha made her a star. She was also the first Black actress to play Cinderella onscreen in 1997.
At the top of her career, Brandy began to draw criticism for a series of tragic events. First, it was uncovered that she and her daughter’s father had deceitfully pretended to be married on a reality show during her pregnancy.
Then in 2006 Brandy was involved in a multi-vehicle car crash that led to a 38-year-old woman’s death. This began what she calls “one of the worst times of my life”.
Following two broken engagements, the singer began to unravel. “I struggled with being put in a box of perfection”, says Brandy.
Brandy grew up singing in church and has a close-knit family that includes her brother Ray J – a singer and reality star.
In her darkest time her daughter Sy’rai, now 18, was her source of light. “I was also able to use music to heal”, she says.
Brandy says of her ordeal, “I just felt like I wasn’t going to make it through”. At one point she felt her pain was just too much and she contemplated suicide. Then she thought of daughter Sy’rai who was her inspiration to keep going.
On her new album B7, Brandy sings about her mental health. Although she hasn’t been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, she has a song called “Bye Bipolar”.
Brandy sums it up this way, “I wouldn’t change it, because I love who I am today”.