*In the latest episode of “Black Girl Songbook,” A Spotify Original from The Ringer, multihyphenate artist Brandy joins host Danyel Smith to discuss her hit show “Queens,” her impactful career including the 24th anniversary of her role as the first Black actress to play Cinderella and more.
Brandy also discusses her relationship with the late Whitney Houston and even spills on what she really thought about the recent viral conversation on Twitter of users not knowing she and Ray J were siblings.
Below are key moments from the episode. Please let me know if you can share this with your readers.
Key Moments: Black Girl Songbook – Chapter 23
Brandy on her hit show “Queens” where she shares how this was her dream role:
Danyel: “We have to talk about Queens on ABC because I looked at my screener and I was like, “Okay, cute, on the boat. Okay, cute. I’m feeling very ’90s.” Then I was in some type of club, like a little open mic type of club and I said, “Is that Brandy? I know she has a whole character name, but is that Brandy playing a guitar and really trying to sing to us like she’s some type of version of Tracy Chapman right now, because…?” Brandy, I said this was going to be the first thing that I asked you. Talk to me about that rap that you did when you are calling on that patron in the club. He is trying to bother you on Queens and he was like, “Aren’t you such and such?” You were like, “Hey, now.” Please talk about that.”
Brandy: “I loved that scene. I absolutely love to rap. I love this role because I get a chance to do something that I’ve always wanted to do, which was sing, rap, dance, act all in one show. But that particular moment I was a little bit nervous because it’s no music; it’s just me having to just rap a capella and find my own rhythm and stay on beat and still stay within the character and be believable.”
Brandy shares the biggest challenges of being on “Queens” :
Brandy: “This is probably one of the most challenging shows that I’ve ever had to create because it’s not just a TV show, it’s also a musical. We’re also going back in time, so it’s a lot of different changes and different hair changes and makeup changes and wardrobe changes that we have to do.. It’s like, ‘Oh, my God. Everything that we’re doing is worth it.’ Sometimes it could be you feel like you’re not going to make it because you’re giving it all you got, but this is something for me that I want to put in all I have. I want to feel so tired at the end of the day because I put everything into this because this really is my dream and I love it. I love what I’m doing. I’m so passionate about it and I love who I’m doing it with.”
Brandy reflects on the 24th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ and shares insight on co-stars Whitney Houston and Whoopi Goldberg:
Danyel: “Today is actually the 24th anniversary of Cinderella. Brandy, are you getting emotional..”
Brandy: “My daughter goes, ‘Mom, don’t poke your lips and you’re going to cry.’ Yes, it is. I say all that and I posted in my story, ‘What an accomplishment, what a way to just inspire people.’ At that time, honestly, I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, and that’s what we were all doing. I just wanted to meet Whitney Houston and hang out with Whoopi Goldberg, and I didn’t even really understand. Of course, I was excited to be Cinderella. It’s my favorite princess, but it was everybody around me.. so it was almost like my dream and Cinderella’s dream were paralleled.”
Brandy tells Danyel how she met the late Whitney Houston:
Brandy: “It was the highlight of my entire life. My dreams were to meet Whitney Houston and to be a singer and have my own band. Everything else that happened in my career, I didn’t ask for none of that stuff… Those were my dreams. So when I met Whitney Houston, I had been trying to meet her my entire childhood.. I met her at the Kids Choice Awards and I was there as a singer and she was there as Whitney Houston and she knew I was there. She knew that I wanted to meet her. They all told her, everybody told her. She came out and she met me, and I ran from her. I couldn’t believe it. The entire meeting with Whitney is on Entertainment Tonight.”
Brandy on how her daughter Sy’Rai inspires her and how they connect via the arts:
Brandy: “She does, and she does even more now because not only is she a musician, and she loves her fashion and you can just tell that she wants me to do everything that I’m born to do. I think, not I think, I know that’s what I want for her. So we feed off of each other. We inspire each other and it’s just beautiful that we have so much in common in the arts. There’s something about me doing it that makes her feel like she can do it; something about her doing it that makes me feel like I should continue to do it. We’re soulmates, and I just absolutely adore her. I don’t know where I would be without her.”
Brandy on her relationship with brother Ray J and spills on what she thought of Twitter’ latest viral trend of not knowing her and Ray J are siblings:
Brandy: “He tries to act like my big brother and I’m like, “Bro, you’re not. Chill. I’m the original Ray J, okay? Because my middle name is Rayana.”
Danyel: “There’s never a moment where you don’t think of Brandy and Ray J as thick as thieves.”
Brandy: “Yes, but can I tell you something crazy? On Twitter, maybe a week ago or two weeks ago, the new generation did not know that Ray J and I were related. It was hilarious. We were trending. I promise you..I’m telling you, people did not know that we were related. They didn’t know that we were related. Some people were saying, “Brandy’s brother,” then other people were saying Ray J’s sister.” It was a whole thing. I loved it, and I just got a kick out of that. That tickled me. That tickled me. I said, ‘Bro, we got to get into this new generation. People don’t even know that we are related now.’”