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How does the little girl from McComb, Mississippi, who has spent eight years doing it all – selling tens of millions of records, starring in one of the highest-rated TV specials ever (Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella), starring on two sitcoms (Thea and Moesha), acting in movies, representing one of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world – find her way from girlhood to womanhood under the bright and shining glare of the pop culture spotlight?
Brandy Norwood retreats, looking within herself to find the power and beauty of personal growth. She moves out of her parents' house, buys her own, and, to quote one of her own hits, "sits up in her room" to figure out how to make the world work for her rather than feel like she's working for the world. She chooses to be a fully-formed person, rather than just a fully-formed celebrity, ultimately choosing music as her main focus in life.
It was a very reflective time, recalls the songstress, starting out with her decision to live on her own. "Moving out on my own was a big step for me because I've always been around my parents and protected by them. Moving out allowed me to make my own decisions and spend time by myself."
"I never liked to be by myself until I moved out of my parents' house and started to spend more time with me. I started to appreciate myself and in the process, my whole attitude about life changed. I started reading New Age material and metaphysics, and I started to get into what life really has to offer me. I began to deal with my emotions differently. I realized that life is about your perceptions of things. You can always change how you feel based on how you look at things. When you change your perception you change your reality."
This time was also marked by Brandy's decision to become vegan, eating healthy to keep her body in spiritual sync with her emotional maturity. "It was all about hamburgers and french fries everyday for me," she remembers. "And I was always getting sick." Then she went to the opposite extreme. "I went on the extra thin thing and became dehydrated. Somewhere in there I realized that my body is my temple and this is where my soul has to reside and take care of myself. I realized that eating to live was better than living to eat." With a laugh she recalls her initial dive into the vegan way. "I had a veggie burger," she says. "And it didn't taste any different! It's all about the seasoning and how you make it."
"I love making music. Sometimes I think if I could just sing and be anonymous for a minute I'd love that. Of course you love the fame and all that, but that's all extra. Being in the studio and working and creating? That's the love of it. That's the best part."
She is staking her claim on the musical world with a mature mixture of creativity, grace and fortitude. "I'm just really thankful now," says Brandy. "I needed to find out who I was and what I wanted."
Hit songs include --
Brandy may be available for your next special event.