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Brandy R. Norwood
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You’ve likely never heard a Roxie Hart riff like this before. R&B star Brandy Norwood is the latest in a steady line of actresses to step into the silky stockings of starry-eyed Roxie in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago. But even though she’s following a slew of fellow musicians in the role (including Michelle Williams, Ashlee Simpson, and most recently, Jennifer Nettles), Norwood’s Broadway debut as the merry murderess comes with a wholly original array of Brandy-grade vocal twists.

The Grammy winner is the first to admit that her engagement in Chicago (where she’s appearing through June 21) marks both a personal and professional resurgence. She’ll head back into the studio this year to record her seventh studio album, and she’ll soon star in an upcoming BET series following the conclusion of The Game. EW caught up with Norwood to chat about her new digs on Broadway—and, of course, the 1997 remake of Cinderella that we’ve never quite erased from the DVR.

Entertainment Weekly: What steps do you go through when you approach a classic score like Chicago’s? How do you both honor and reinvent it?
BRANDY NORWOOD: I wanted to bring my own flavor to it, and the team at Chicago really allowed me to discover that. They were my foundation and my first audience—they laughed at things I did, or they said, “Oh, maybe try that.” They allowed me the freedom to discover who Roxie was from my perspective. I loved preparing for it. I feel like everything that I’ve done in my life has prepared me for this moment in my life—from acting, singing, dancing, Dancing with the Stars. All of the things that I’ve done have prepared me to [play] Roxie.

When did this musical come into your life?
I did see the movie, and Renee Zellweger is actually my favorite Roxie ever. I saw the musical when Usher played Billy Flynn, and I was blown away. I was like, girl, you need to do Broadway. But I was always afraid of what that experience would be like, so I never really looked into it.

What was the fear?
The fear was that it was the unknown. It’s live. You can’t go back. I was so used to action, cut, let me do it again. That’s not what live theater is. You have to get yourself into a position where you trust the moment and all of the grind that you prepared before it. You can’t get ahead of yourself. I can’t think about “Roxie” at the beginning of the show—I’ll get too nervous. It’s about living in the moment and trusting it. It’s one of the most beautiful experiences. I want to do theater for the rest of my life, along with everything else that I want to do.

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Posted by Jennifer on May 22nd, 2015 / Filed under: Broadway, Interview / Leave a comment?

My experience meeting My Brandy for the first time, was simply unbelievable. The moment I laid eyes on her, while she was on the stage doing her performance,  was something that I felt like I was watching on TV, rather than watching it live.  She did sooooooo freaking amazing,  it’s like she’s been doing Broadway for years. I am so proud of her, so proud to still be a true fan after 20 years. I can not wait until she shows us what else she has in store for her Starz /extended family ❤ in the near future.

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Posted by Jennifer on May 21st, 2015 / Filed under: #StarzTakeBroadway / Leave a comment?

IMG_1466Hi my name is Kishiro and I recently went to see Brandy in Chicago and thought they play was Awesome! The Vocal Bible did her thing! Her vocals were on point and she was very energetic and kept the crowds attention. I think it’s time for that Tony nomination. It was just a great experience over all and to top the cake having her come out and greet and talk to the fans. Brandy is such a kind and sweet person.  One of the beat experiences of my life.

Follow Him: @Kishiro1977

Posted by Jennifer on May 20th, 2015 / Filed under: #StarzTakeBroadway / Leave a comment?

STARS IN THE ALLEY, presented by United Airlines, will take place on Wednesday, May 27th from 10:30am-12:30pm in Shubert Alley, between Broadway and 8th Avenue and 44th and 45th Streets. Stars in the Alley will be hosted by Darren Criss who is currently playing Hedwig in the 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Aladdin’s Tony Award-winning “Genie,” James Monroe Iglehart, will be on hand to cover the concert LIVE on Twitter and Instagram! @jamesmiglehart on Twitter and @jmiglehart on Instagram will bring fans both exclusive backstage access and a unique perspective on all that’s happening on stage and in the audience at this year’s concert.

Commissioner Cynthia López, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, will kick off the event. “The Stars in the Alley concert is the perfect way to celebrate Broadway’s lasting impact to New York City. Broadway and our local theatrical community contribute nearly $12 billion to the City’s economy and support 87,000 jobs, and this concert will give the public a unique opportunity to see their favorite performers live outside in the very heart of the theatre district,” said Commissioner Cynthia López, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
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Posted by Jennifer on May 20th, 2015 / Filed under: Event / Leave a comment?

IMG_3210When the news broke that Brandy was going to be on Broadway, my first thought was to check my pulse just to be sure I hadn’t died suddenly and gone to heaven. But no, it was true. Brandy would be playing the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago. I was ecstatic because this meant that I could not only see Brandy live as many times as I wanted (or could afford) but I also might have a chance of actually meeting her.

I decided on a date. I was going to see the show with two of the most important friends I had made so far in NYC. They got to share that special moment with me, and I was really happy about it. We lucked up on front row seats through the rush ticket process, which was only $37, folks. I repeat: thirty-seven dolluhs, ok?

I have to say, all standing aside, Brandy did a phenomenal job. She never missed a beat. She sang with a clarity and finesse that I haven’t seen before, showing just how versatile she is. She’s been saying that the child has reawakened in her–well, I guess Baby Bran’s spirit is alive and well. Watching Brandy on stage gave me the same feeling of wonder and amazement I had while watching her as a child on television. Classic Brandy and the Next Brandy had merged as one in those moments. She sang beautifully and danced like a pro. And her acting was superb. She’s definitely been assimilated into the theatre culture, but there are definitely remnants of the Brandy/Chardonnay we all love.

Oh yeah, the icing on the cake is that Brandy comes out after every performance and meets with every-single-fan. Every single one.  And every moment is special with each. She’s  one of the most down-to-earth and sweetest people you’ll ever meet. And if I didn’t believe it, I had a guy to give me a 10 minute lecture on just how nice and grounded she was. But every word he spat at me rang true. She’s just IT.

If you haven’t, I suggest you find a way to see this performance as soon as possible. Hitchhike, set up that pole–do what you gotta do because you don’t wanna miss the magic that is Roxie Hart.

Follow him on Instagram: @4everstarz 

Tell us about your experience on Broadway, How did you like Brandy as Roxie Hart ? What did you think of Chicago The Musical? Send in an email to BrandyDailycom@gmail.com, tell us about it, be sure to attach a picture and your social media handle!

Posted by Jennifer on May 20th, 2015 / Filed under: #StarzTakeBroadway / Leave a comment?
Posted by Jennifer on May 19th, 2015 / Filed under: Interview, Television / Leave a comment?

Screen-Shot-2015-03-12-at-8.16.11-PMYouKnowIGotSoul had a chance to speak with the Grammy nominated producer DJ Camper about his upcoming work with Brandy which includes an EP:

“She called me and she wants to do a mixtape or EP with me. It’s just something for the fans and for the people. It’s going to be a 5 song type of thing, so we’re definitely working on that. Be on the lookout for that very soon. Working with her is a joy and she’s one of my idols. I think we can change the world especially in R&B and Soul music. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

And when asked to explain the sound of the project:

“It’s something refreshing. I’m not putting Brandy in the club. You won’t hear Brandy in the strip club or in elements like that. When you think of Brandy now, think of stadium status or arenas. Think of like the movie 300 with the Romans. It’s going to be big and classic. That’s what I’m having her around this time around. If you think Coldplay is big, watch what Brandy does.”

Posted by Jennifer on May 18th, 2015 / Filed under: News / Leave a comment?