In the beginning, fame was “pure joy” for Brandy. By her late teens, she was already an R&B superstar with her own beloved coming-of-age sitcom, and she’d become the first Black actress to play Cinderella onscreen. But as she matured, Brandy says, her “perfect” public image began to feel more constricting than uplifting.
In an interview with People published Wednesday, Brandy discussed a period of depression during which she became suicidal—and how her daughter, Sy’rai, now 18, saved her life.
In 2006 Brandy was involved in a fatal car accident that killed a 38-year-old woman; Brandy, who was not charged criminally in the accident and settled out of court, declined to comment on the collision.
But after the accident, as well as the collapse of some personal relationships, the singer found herself in a dark place.
“I remember laying in bed super depressed,” she told People. “I [told] myself, “So, you’re just going to go out like this? That’s wack. You have a daughter. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for her because this is not the way to leave a mark in her life.’”
Brandy debuted her comeback album, B7, earlier this summer. Brandy told People the record’s candor initially made her hesitant: “I was thinking, ‘Did I go too deep? Did I go too far in what I was singing about?’ But I didn't dwell on those thoughts.”
The album itself, People notes, has been a long time coming—eight years, to be precise.
“I was a little bit lost eight years ago musically, creatively, spiritually,” Brandy told People. “I had to pull myself together, I had to pull it all together and make it all make sense.”
B7 is the first album Brandy has co-written and produced. Speaking with Billboard, she said doing so “was a way for me to really use music to heal and be therapeutic. It felt different than anything that I had ever done, and it’s something that I felt like I needed to do.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741