A celebration of singer Brandy at the 2019 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards included an impromptu serenade by her brother Ray J and a quick performance by the honoree. The singer attended the awards show at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center just outside of Atlanta to receive the BMI President’s Award.
During the presentation Mike O’Neill, BMI President, praised Brandy for her musical accomplishments (including her record sales of more than 40 million albums and the record held by “The Boy Is Mine” as the No. 1 selling Atlantic Records single of all time), as well as her acting (Moesha, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Star and more) and Broadway (Chicago) work, and philanthropic efforts.
Jade Novah kicked off a musical tribute to Brandy, performing “Talk About Our Love,” the singer’s 2004 collaboration with Kanye West. Samoht then delivered a version of “Brokenhearted” (1995) that inspired Brandy to ask him to teach her some of his vocal runs. The tribute also included a performance of “Have You Ever” (1998) and "He Is” (2002) from Kierra Sheard, as well as “Baby” (1994) and “Nothing” (2002) from Eric Bellinger. Bellinger thanked Brandy for being the “vocal bible,” a title that followers have gifted the singer for her sharp melismas and soulful tone, on behalf of “sangers” during his performance: “Without you, we would be nothing.” Joining O’Neill and BMI vice president Catherine Brewton on stage, Brandy’s brother Ray J gave a quick, unexpected performance of “Best Friend,” the 1995 song penned about the close bond between the siblings.