Brandy Norwood Reveals Struggles With Child Stardom, Says She Was Put In 'Box Of Perfection'

Caroline Howley

Music star Brandy Norwood opened up on the struggles she faced growing up in the public eye in a revealing interview with People.

The singer told the publication that she felt a lot of pressure as a role model, particularly to young Black girls, when growing up.

"I struggled with being put in a box of perfection," she said. "I felt like my mistakes would let down everyone if I made them. I had to make the transition from being a teenager to a woman and figure out what direction I was going to go in."

In the interview, Brandy — who is singer Ray J's sister — explained that as a child star, she felt she did not have the space to grow up safely.

"I had to deal with so many other opinions about what I should do, how I should be and what I should look like. And that can get tough when you're trying to find your own voice," she said.

"I did not know who I was," she told the news site about becoming a mother in 2002 at the age of 23.

The actor explained that while she had to figure out her own identity during this time, she ensured daughter Sy'rai was surrounded by "good people" who were able to help her out when necessary.

Brandy rose to stardom at the tender age of 15 when she broke through with her debut album I Wanna Be Down, as the publication noted. The years that followed racked up more success for the star, who released a hugely popular follow-up Never Say Never and took the starring role in hit teen show Moesha.

However, in the years since her rise to fame, the 41-year-old faced a number of public controversies, tragedies, and a string of heartbreaks — all of which took a toll on her mental health, according to the news site.

"I've struggled with losing myself," she revealed in the interview, "in ways where I didn't feel like I could figure it out."

Happily, Brandy told the publication that she managed to overcome her depression and find joy — much of which she credited to her family and music. She said she would not change the events she endured because "I love who I am today. I love being me, finally."

Brandy's brother Ray J hit headlines in July, when it was revealed that his high-profile divorce from partner Princess Love had been dismissed as the pair attempted to work things out, as The Daily Mail covered. As The Inquisitr reported, the pair — whose relationship struggles had been documented on Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood — filed for divorce in May, four years after tying the knot.