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Brandy talks about her new album, tragic auto accident

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Detroit Free Press (MCT) - You can call it a comeback, a fresh start, even a do-over. Brandy is just glad she's getting another chance.


By Brian McCollum
McClatchy Newspapers (
12/4/2008 (1 decade ago)

Published in Music

The upcoming humbly titled "Human" is the fifth album for the onetime teen star, who made her name as a platinum pop-R&B singer before expanding into television and film.

Fourteen years ago, fresh-faced Brandy provided something the world hadn't seen in a while: a teenage pop phenomenon. An early entrant in what became a torrent of '90s teen stars, she maintained her momentum as she headed into her 20s at the turn of the decade.

But with pop trends moving on, Brandy's profile began to drop; her 2004 album sold less than half a million copies. In 2006 she ricocheted back into the headlines for a less welcome reason, when she slammed into another vehicle on a Los Angeles freeway and started a crash that left another driver dead. (Brandy was not charged, but is facing a $50-million lawsuit filed by the driver's family.)

The new album, says 29-year-old Brandy, is the sound of an artist coming to grips with her own past _ and growing up fast in the wake of the 2006 tragedy.

She spoke with the Detroit Free Press from Los Angeles:

On the comeback: "It feels like it's the first time I've ever been out. With the long break, I forgot what it was like to be out there in the forefront, singing on stage, doing interviews, promoting an album. Being in the swing of things feels brand new but also familiar."

On media questions about the accident: "It's something that happened in my life. I just want people to hear my truth and what that was like for me. Sometimes when you talk to the media, they tend to twist things you say. With something as tragic and personal as that was, I didn't want that to happen. ... Everybody goes through things _ that's what I want people to get from this. I'm just glad that people have actually been very respectful about it.

"That situation made me a much more humble person. It helped me appreciate life and not take things for granted. I can just say I'm a better person."

On defining success for the new album: "When you're coming from the heart, it's always honest, it's always true, and I just want people to embrace it and feel that _ to feel the same way I do when I hear it. That would be a success for me. Of course you want to be at Grammys and at the top of the charts. But the bigger hope for me is that whoever buys it is touched by it, the way I was when I was making it."


© 2008, Detroit Free Press.

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