It can be easy for those without a finger on the pulse of R&B to overlook Brandy’s influence.
Yet she helped define the genre’s ‘90s golden age and carried it into the new millennium alongside singular divas such as Aaliyah and Monica. Still, she hasn’t had a crossover hit in 15 years.
Brandy’s blend of hip-hop soul and contemporary R&B paired with her richly unique tone turned her into a multifaceted pop star: She anchored a major sitcom, had a line of Barbie dolls, became the first black singer to be the face of CoverGirl and the first black woman to play Cinderella in a film.
Rihanna, Sam Smith and Ariana Grande have credited her as an...