Early into this episode of Soul Sisters, Brandy remarks on the “hundred thousand butterflies” she feels when we remind her of how much success she’s had, on the Billboard charts and beyond, in her 20-plus year career as an entertainer. From her lightning hot debut album Brandy that she put out when she was only 15, to her Grammy win for the best-selling female duet of all time “The Boy Is Mine,” to her work with Whitney Houston in Cinderella and her starring role on Moesha, Brandy has been an inspirational figure for as long as most people under 40 can remember.
“This whole moment is a blessing,” she remarks, visibly overwhelmed by the conversation. “I didn’t even know that this was going to happen like this today.”
But “this” feeling she’s talking about is exactly what Brandy walked into the room with: an immense amount of gratitude for what she feels is a new empowering moment in her career, underlined by her fresh new single “Beggin & Pleadin” after a long period of struggling against her own self-doubts, let alone anyone else’s, throughout her improbable success.
“When other people’s opinions matter more than yours, that’s when the road gets rocky,” she warns. “I’m a living witness to that.”
Brandy takes us all the way back, from growing up in Mississippi, which she left for Los Angeles at the age of four, to what it was like seeing her name climb to No. 1 for the first time just over a decade later.
“I remember entering the charts at 90-something. I was just so happy to be on the charts – the Billboard charts!” she recalls, before sharing a story of the first time she ever heard a stranger playing her single, from their car at a Del Taco drive-through.
“I’m doing what I want to do,” Brandy states firmly. “And nothing is going to get in the way of it.”
Check out the full episode below, hosted by Billboard writer/content creator Jessie Katz and Parlour Tricks singer Darah Golub, and be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes: