布兰迪·雷安娜·诺伍德（Brandy Rayana Norwood）（1979年2月11日出生），以她的别名布兰迪（ Brandy）闻名，是美国歌手，词曲作者，唱片制作人和女演员。出生于密西西比州麦康姆的一个音乐世家，并在加利福尼亚州卡森市长大，她从小就开始了自己的职业生涯，并担任青少年乐队的主唱。1993年，诺伍德与Atlantic Records签约。次年，她发行了自己的同名首张专辑，在美国获得了四金白金认证，在全球销售了600万张。诺伍德出演UPN情景喜剧Moesha作为标题角色，历时六个赛季，并担任了许多其他角色。她恢复了她的音乐生涯在1998年与同伴非常成功的合唱R＆B歌手莫妮卡，“ 男孩是我的 ”，这后来成为有史以来最畅销的女性二重奏之一，最长的一次运行头号男单在历史上。她的第二张专辑《永不言败》（Never Say Never）拥有两张单曲，并为诺伍德赢得了首个格莱美奖。
在2010年代，诺伍德获得了重要的商业复兴。2010年，她回到了电视上的一个选手第十一赛季的与明星共舞，并在真人秀节目出演白兰地和雷·J：一个家族企业。在2012年，她成为BET系列The Game的系列常客，并发布了她的第六张专辑《十一月十一日》，受到好评。2015年4月，诺伍德在音乐剧《芝加哥》中首次亮相百老汇。她出演了主演，高管制作了一个名为“Zoe Ever After”的情景喜剧，该剧于2016年1月首播。
2020年，诺伍德发行了她的第七张录音室专辑B7，并以单曲“ Baby Mama ” 为首。
截至2018年7月，她已在全球售出超过4000万张唱片，在美国售出超过862万张专辑，使她成为有史以来最畅销的女艺人之一。美国唱片业协会（RIAA）将诺伍德列为美国最畅销的艺术家之一，拥有1050万个认证单位。她的作品赢得了许多奖项和荣誉，包括格莱美奖，美国音乐奖和七个广告牌音乐奖。她以其独特的声音而闻名，其独特的音色，声音分层和复杂的即兴即兴，因此赢得了业界同行和评论家的昵称“ The Vocal Bible ”。
Norwood是抒情的女高音，音调范围跨越三个八度音阶和五个半音。音乐评论家和诺伍德本人经常将她的声音描述为柔和，沙哑和沙哑。音乐评论家和《偏锋》杂志作者安德鲁·陈（Andrew Chan）将诺伍德的嗓音描述为“温暖，寒冷，坚硬的边缘都有不寻常的混合”。他进一步描述了她的声音品质，并说：“与流行音乐演唱中的其他内容一样，白兰地对音色和质地的微妙控制会奖励近距离聆听。[…]她对技术精湛的主要主张一直是她悠长而又级联的即兴演奏，许多R＆B顽固分子都崇尚她的技能。” 诺伍德也因使用多轨录音而闻名创建复杂的人声安排和层次感。PopMatters的特里·索耶（Terry Sawyer）写道：“虽然有人说白兰地的声音并非完全是谷仓燃烧器，但并没有提到她对所得到的东西做得足够多。她永远不会把声音挂在聚光灯下稀缺性，折叠其多样化的梯田，在主音轨道上低声细语，在备份中大喊大叫，并为每首歌曲提供足够的互锁声音，以营造人声密集的紧密包装幻觉。”
诺伍德最初的声音是当代R＆B，深深植根于福音和嘻哈灵魂。她的歌词讲述了各种类型的爱，从随意的友善到浪漫和属灵的事情。在休斯顿和凯里的影响下，她将成人当代流行音乐和对流畅，成熟的R＆B民谣的强调融入了她的第二张录音室专辑Never Say Never的声音中。她的第三张录音室专辑《满月》中看到了诺伍德，以及当时的创作伙伴罗德尼·杰金斯，尝试将她以前的R＆B声音与具有前瞻性和前瞻性的作品（包括电子恐怖的影响）融合在一起。伴随着她的风格，她的声音经历了一次演变，与1990年代相比，她轻盈，少女般的声音变得更深，更温暖，更烟熏。歌词也反映了这种变化，因为专辑探讨了更多的成人主题，性主题，并着重于亲密关系的身体和情感方面。 2004年，她最近的母亲身份，生活经历以及对英国摇滚乐队Coldplay的亲密关系不断增长，促使她转向了更具实验性的视野，她的第四张录音室专辑《 Afrodisiac。这张专辑是与制作人Timbaland和Kanye West的合作，利用了独特的不适感，通过渐进式采样方法将周围的流行，配音和节拍音景融合在一起。四年的中断和几次改变人生的经历使诺伍德在2008年底凭借其第五张录音室专辑《人类》（Human）重返音乐界，该专辑讨论了爱情，心痛和诚实的话题。在2012年经历职业和个人复兴之后，诺伍德渴望缩减前一张专辑的流行风格，并在第六张录音室专辑《两个十一》中回归R＆B。。这张专辑融合了Norwood 1990年代的R＆B声音和2000年代后现代嘻哈的重低音趋势。
自从职业生涯开始以来，白兰地就将惠特尼·休斯顿（Whitney Houston）评为她最杰出的音乐和娱乐影响力。在职业生涯的早期，她经常将休斯顿描述为她的“偶像”，并认为自己的声音，音乐和表演对她个人和职业都至关重要。在2014年的一次采访中，布兰迪说：“作为职业音乐家，我想说惠特尼·休斯顿是有史以来最伟大的声音。” 她细心地说，“她一直是我的主意。我想像她一样，唱歌像她，做她正在做的一切。” 从1990年代后期开始，休斯顿将发展成为白兰地的亲朋好友和良师益友，休斯顿将自己称为诺伍德的“教母”。
在发展自己的风格和人声的同时，布兰迪将福音爵士乐歌手金·伯雷尔（Kim Burrell），新时代歌手恩雅（Enya）和英国歌手，词曲作者萨德（Sade）归功于其主要影响力。在谈到她们时，她说：“…… 倾听这些女士的声音以及我自己的创造力，这帮助我找到了自己的利基，自己的声音。” 布兰迪（Brandy）还注意到了其他一些音乐灵感，包括迈克尔·杰克逊（Michael Jackson），玛丽亚·凯里（Mariah Carey），博伊兹二世（Bonz II Men），克拉克姐妹（Clark Sisters），史蒂夫·旺德（Stevie Wonder），艾瑞莎·富兰克林（Aretha Franklin），酷玩乐队（Coldplay），珍妮·杰克逊，提姆巴兰，和她的弟弟雷·J 。
在她的演艺生涯中，布兰迪注意到露西尔·鲍尔（Lucille Ball），珍妮弗·刘易斯（Jenifer Lewis），加布里埃尔·工会（Gabrielle Union），尼西·纳什（Necy Nash）和金·菲尔兹（Kim Fields）是她发展为女演员的重要组成部分，并发现了她在喜剧角色中的实力。
Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), better known by her mononym Brandy, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born into a musical family in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Carson, California, she began her career as a child and performed as a backing vocalist for teen groups. In 1993, Norwood signed with Atlantic Records. The following year, she released her self-titled debut album, which was certified quadruple Platinum in the U.S., selling six million copies worldwide. Norwood starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles. She resumed her music career in 1998 with the wildly successful duet with fellow R&B singer Monica, “The Boy Is Mine”, which went on to become one of the best selling female duets of all time, and one of the longest running number one singles in history. Her second album, Never Say Never, featured two number one singles, and earned Norwood her first Grammy Award.
Throughout the 2000s, Norwood held a precarious position in the pop industry. In 2002, she starred in the reality series Brandy: Special Delivery, documenting the birth of her daughter. Her third and fourth albums, Full Moon (2002) and Afrodisiac (2004), were released to critical success. She served as a judge on the first season of America’s Got Talent before being involved in a widely publicized car accident in 2006. After several lawsuits stemming from the accident, Norwood’s fifth album, Human (2008), was released to commercial failure.
In the 2010s, Norwood received a critical and commercial resurgence. In 2010, she returned to television as a contestant on the eleventh season of Dancing with the Stars and starred in the reality series Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business. In 2012 she became a series regular in the BET series The Game, and released her sixth album Two Eleven to critical praise. In April 2015, Norwood made her Broadway debut in the musical Chicago. She starred in and executive produced a sitcom titled Zoe Ever After on BET which premiered in January 2016.
In 2020, Norwood released her seventh studio album B7 and led with single “Baby Mama”.
As of July 2018, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, with over 8.62 million albums sold in the U.S., making her one of the best selling female artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lists Norwood as one of the top-selling artists in the United States, with 10.5 million certified units. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, an American Music Award, and seven Billboard Music Awards. She has become known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, and intricate riffs, which has earned her the nickname “The Vocal Bible” from industry peers and critics.
Voice and style
Norwood is a lyric soprano, with a range spanning three octaves and five semitones. Her voice has often been described as soft, raspy, and husky by music critics and Norwood herself. Music critic and Slant Magazine writer Andrew Chan describes Norwood’s vocal tone as having “an unusual mix of warmth and cold, hard edges”. He further describes her vocal quality, saying, “Like little else in pop-music singing, Brandy’s subtle manipulation of timbre and texture rewards close listening. […] Her main claim of technical virtuosity has always been her long, cascading riffs, a skill many R&B die-hards revere her for.” Norwood is also noted for her use of multitrack recording to create intricate vocal arrangements and layering. Terry Sawyer of PopMatters writes on this skill, remarking, “While it’s been said that Brandy’s voice isn’t exactly a barn burner, it’s not mentioned enough that she does more than enough with what she’s got. She never leaves her voice hanging in spotlit scarcity, folding its variegated terracing, whispering out the lead track, shouting in the back-up, and piling each song with enough interlocking sounds to create the tightly packed illusion of vocal massiveness.”
Norwood’s initial sound was contemporary R&B, heavily rooted in gospel and hip hop soul. Her lyrics spoke of various types of love, from casual and friendly love to romantic and spiritual affairs. Influenced by Houston and Carey, she incorporated adult contemporary pop and an emphasis on smooth, mature R&B ballads into the sound for her second studio album Never Say Never. Her third studio album Full Moon saw Norwood, and her then-creative partner Rodney Jerkins, experiment with blending her previous R&B sounds with futuristic, forward-thinking productions, including influences of electro-funk. Along with her style, her voice had gone through an evolution, with her light, girlish voice becoming much deeper, warmer, and smokier than it had been throughout the 1990s. The lyrics also reflected the change, as the album explored more adult, sexual topics and focused on both physical and emotional aspects of an intimate relationship. In 2004, her recent motherhood, life experiences, and growing affinity for British rock band Coldplay, caused her to shift toward a more experimental vision her fourth studio album Afrodisiac. The album, a collaboration with producers Timbaland and Kanye West, utilized the distinctive illbient aesthetic, which fuses ambient pop, dub, and breakbeat soundscapes with progressive sampling methods. A four-year hiatus and a few life-changing occurrences caused Norwood to return to the music industry in late 2008 with Human, her fifth studio album, which discussed topics of love, heartache and honesty. Experiencing a career and personal rejuvenation in 2012, Norwood was eager to scale back her previous album’s pop style and return to R&B on her sixth studio album Two Eleven. The album was a melding of both Norwood’s 1990s R&B sound and the bass-heavy trends of post-2000s contemporary hip-hop.
Since the start of her career, Brandy has named Whitney Houston as her most prominent music and entertainment influence. Early in her career, she would often describe Houston as her “idol”, crediting her voice, music, and performances as critical to her, both personally and professionally. In a 2014 interview, Brandy stated that, “as a professional musician, I would say that Whitney Houston is the greatest voice of all time.” She elaborates, saying “She was always the idea for me. I wanted to be like her, sing like her, and do everything she was doing.” Beginning in the late 1990s, Houston would evolve as a personal friend and mentor to Brandy, with Houston nicknaming herself as Norwood’s “godmother”.
Brandy also names her father, vocal coach Willie Norwood, as instrumental to her discovery and development as a musician. She exclaims that her dad “taught me everything that I know [about singing]”. About her dad, Brandy states: “I grew up singing in church with my dad, where he was the musical director and we sang gospel songs in a cappella almost exclusively. He bought me my first 4-track tape recorder. At first, I didn’t like my own voice, but he encouraged me to embrace the unique qualities of my voice.”
While developing her own style and vocal sound, Brandy would credit gospel-jazz singer Kim Burrell, new age artist Enya, and English singer-songwriter Sade as major influences. In speaking about them, she said, “… it was listening to those women, along with my own creative voice, that helped me to find my niche, my own sound.” Brandy has also noted several other musical inspirations, including Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, The Clark Sisters, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Coldplay, Janet Jackson, Timbaland, and her brother Ray J.
Over the course of her acting career, Brandy has noted Lucille Ball, Jenifer Lewis, Gabrielle Union, Niecy Nash, and Kim Fields as being integral to her development as an actress, and the discovery of her strength in comedic roles.
1994 – Brandy
1998 – Never Say Never
2002 – Full Moon
2004 – Afrodisiac
2005 – The Best Of
2008 – Human
2012 – Two Eleven [Deluxe Edition]
2020 – B7