Brandy Grown Up

Despite a rough couple of years, onetime R&B princess Brandy is holding her head high on her new album Human. Though gay fans would probably line the block for a sequel of "The Boy Is Mine" with former duet buddy Monica, don't hold your breath -- Brandy, now 29, says, "We're too old for that."

BY Clay Cane

December 12 2008 12:00 AM ET

 BRANDY 02 x390 (publicity) | ADVOCATE.COM

What about Human do you think your gay fans
will relate to?
The topics on the album, I feel like everyone
has experienced what I’m talking about.
We’ve all put on a mask for love, for people to
accept us, for people to embrace us -- we change for
that to happen. On the song
“Camouflage,” you don’t have to put on
a front for love. You can just be yourself and it
doesn’t matter who thinks what about you. It’s
really about you being comfortable with yourself and
finding that person in your life that’s going
to accept that. Another song is called “Torn
Down,” it’s about having a love so
strong, no matter who you are, no matter who comes
around you or what they say, it can’t be torn down. I
just think the album as a whole is a reflection of who
we all are as human beings. We go through the same
exact things; emotions feel the same to me as they
feel to you. At the end of the day, we’re all the
same.

How important is it to you to have a gay fan base? Two of my best friends are gay and what I love
about them is that they always keep it real. They are
better girls than I am! [Laughs] They keep me
on my toes: You have to always look good when you go out!
You never let people see you sweat! You have to be on it at
all times! They always keep me hot -- I love that
about them!

A lot of my fans
are gay; they seem to be like the only ones that come
out to my shows and support me. I was just on BET’s
106 & Park and all of the fans that had
the album and the picture taking, they were all my gay
fans. I’m like, this is what I’m talking
about! Y'all need to get the girls involved, the guys
involved! Get everyone involved, but they were the
ones to come out and support me. I think my gay fans are
very, very loyal, and I really respect them for that. They
stick with you through it all. If you are going
through an uptime or a downtime, they’re there.

In '90s R&B, it was all about you, Monica, and
Aaliyah. Can you give us some reflections on the late,
great Aaliyah?
I think Aaliyah was an incredible artist. This
is one artist who stayed true to who she was. She had
her own style, her own vibe. She was just amazing. She
actually was the artist to start it off for me. She started
the whole era of young girls coming out. I was inspired by
Aaliyah and I was a little bit nervous to come out
because she was so popular and incredible. I just
didn’t know if I had a place at the time. Of course,
I came out and we were able to meet, support each
other, and do shows together. I just really miss her
-- wow. I just love her so much. I actually did a
couple tributes to her on the Afrodisiac album
because I worked with Timbaland and she was the first
person to pretty much put Timbaland on the map. So, I
respect her always -- always, always.

You also starred in the movie Double Platinum with
Miss Diana Ross, who is a big gay icon. Are you
still in contact with Miss Ross?
I haven’t spoken to her in a long time.
It’s long overdue because I want to do a remake
of Lady Sings the Blues. I want her to show me
the ropes. She is such a great role model to look up to. I
really hope I’m as great as her when I get [to be]
her age.

Tags: Music

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