Brandy with her parents Willie and Sonja Norwood at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards; Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMIIt was a big night for Brandy Thursday night, as she received the President’s Award at this year’s BMI R&B/Hip-Hop ceremony in Atlanta.
Brandy was recognized for “her powerful impact on the entertainment industry and her timeless hits, which have secured her place in R&B history,” according to BMI. The singer and actress joins a star-studded roster of previous recipients that include Curtis Mayfield, Ludacris, Toni Braxton and Will.i.am.
In addition to musical tributes to Brandy by Jade Novah, Samoht, Eric Bellinger, gospel singer Kierra Sheard and even Brandy’s brother, Ray J, Brandy herself performed her classic 1999 hit “Almost Doesn’t Count,” as well as an impromptu rendition of “I Wanna Be Down” after receiving encouragement from the audience.
There was also a tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle, as well as a performance by Atlanta-based rapper Gunna, who delivered a medley of his hits and himself received a special BMI award in recognition of his smash hit, “Drip Too Hard,” featuring Lil Baby, earning an impressive one billion streams. Lil Baby joined Gunna onstage for that performance.
Brandy emerged on the music scene at age of 15 with her single, “I Wanna Be Down,” lifted from her self-titled debut. Two additional singles from that album, “Best Friend” and “Brokenhearted,” also topped the charts and paved the way for Brandy to become one of the best-selling female artists in American music history, according to the RIAA, with over 40 million albums sold.
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