Singer Brandy returns to the music industry with a new album, "Two Eleven", which reflects her birthday and the date her hero, Whitney Houston died.
(RCA RECORDS) - Whether you know her as Moesha, Cinderella or Brandy, this 33-year-old star has been "putting it down" in the entertainment industry for 20 years.
After a four year gap Brandy Norwood has returned to the charts with a new album, "Two Eleven" and a new record label. Although the singer/actress has sold over 40 million albums worldwide since her debut at age 15, she worried about regaining her footing in the music industry again.
" I am definitely calling it a comeback. I know for a fact that I've been gone for a while and I couldn't find my way. I couldn't get it together. I stopped believing in myself. I thought it was over for me and I just got tired of feeling like that. I felt like I wasn't being a good example to my daughter. I wanted to make her proud too and look up to something so she can believe in the possibility of dreams coming true," she told Reuters.
In 2006 Norwood was involved in a fatal multi-vehicle car accident in Los Angeles,California. Authorities said the chain-reaction wreck started when Norwood's vehicle ran into the back of a car, causing that driver to strike a third vehicle, then swerve into the freeway's center divider and then be broad-sided by a fourth automobile. The driver of the car died from her injuries the following day.
Two years later Norwood released her fifth studio album, "Human," which became her lowest selling album.
"I went through...just everybody knew about the terrible accident that I went through and everybody else that was involved in that. Personally I didn't know what was going on and I'm a good person so I'm like, 'why is all of this stuff, what's going on, this is a whirlwind,' you know. And then I don't have a connection with my music, it's like, it was like a storm," explained Norwood.
"Two Eleven" isn't just Norwood's birthday, it is also the day her mentor and idol, Whitney Houston died. Giving the CD such a poignant title was a tough decision for Norwood.
"I didn't want people to think - you know, negative people, think that you're trying to use the passing of Whitney Houston to sell records and that's not the case. Like I need for everybody to know that if it wasn't for Whitney Houston there would be no me because she was the possibility for me, she was the vision of my dreams actually coming true and she meant everything to me. And for her to pass, period, is like - I wish I could curse and say what I really want to say but I can't - it's messed up that she died, period. But then to pass on my birthday, it brings a whole - it's brings another responsibility, I feel to me, I feel like I'm suppose to do something," said Norwood.
Houston was found dead earlier this year in a Beverly Hills, California hotel bathtub.
Now an inspiration for many young girls, the Grammy winner Norwood issued advice to those wishing to follow in her footsteps.
"Fame and popularity, it's not the cake it's just the icing. You know, yeah, you have a better life, you get a chance to provide for people that you love. But artistry is service to those who want the connection to music, who want to feel like they are not alone and at 15 I didn't understand that, I just wanted to be popular. But now I have a whole new meaning of wanting to be successful because I want people to see me as a possibility, not as, I can't get there, but I want people to say, 'if she can do it, I can do it.'"
Norwood will show-off her acting chops in Tyler Perry's upcoming film "The Marriage Counselor," set to be release early next year.
"Two Eleven" hit stores on October 16.