Norwood's father was a pastor, and by the age of two, she was singing at his church. Brandy became a fan of Whitney Houston, and she told her father that she wanted to be a singer, like Ms. Houston. At the age of four, the Norwoods moved to California, where Brandy began her artistic career singing at talent shows in 1990. At 11, she met a record producer who took her to various record companies and led her to backup singing jobs with two groups: Norment and the more successful Immature.
When Brandy was 14, she was able to land a record deal, with Atlantic Records, and in 1994 her first album, Brandy, was released, reaching gold status in less than two months, and triple platinum status soon after.
Awards started to come soon after, and in 1995 she attended the Billboard Music Awards. Her next award show, the 1996 MTV Awards brought her better luck, and she won the Best Movie Song award for "Sitting Up In My Room". She was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category, and won the NAACP Image Award in that same category, as well as the Soul Train Award, also as Best New Artist. She also did a duet with Lenny Kravitz, a video with Boyz II Men and a song in the soundtrack of Waiting To Exhale. Her second album, 1998's Never Say Never, was nominated for a Rhythm and Blues Award and a Grammy Award, both as Best Album Of The Year, and she co-hosted the American Music Awards, where she was nominated for Favorite Female Artist Of The Year in both their Rock & Pop and Soul categories.
That year, she also had a duet with Monica Arnold, producing the hit "The Boy Is Mine", which won the Best Rhythm and Blues Performance by a Duo/Duet Of The Year award at the Grammys.
Brandy has also tried her hand at acting, and her credits include a small role in Arachnophobia; a hit series named Moesha (where she played the main character); a minor part in Demolition Man; the title character in the 1997 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella; a television movie with Diana Ross called Double Platinum; and one of the main characters in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
In 1996, Brandy was taken to her prom by Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant.
In March of 2002, Brandy released her third effort, Full Moon. The album included singles such as the title track and What About Us.