Brandy Comes of Age
BRANDY, THE DRINK, CAN BE Intoxicating. Brandy, the actress and R&B singer, can be very intoxicating. And the connoisseurs who showed up for her 18th-birthday party at Hollywood's House of Blues were obviously under her influence. "It's a party honoring a beautiful person," gushed Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris. "She called me, and she said, 'You gotta come to my party,' and I said, 'I'm there.' "
Among the 500 or so guests were basketball players Kobe Bryant of the Lakers—who is "just a friend," she says, although she was his prom date last year—and Anfernee (Penny) Hard-away of the Orlando Magic; most of the cast from her weekly TV series, Moesha; Jaleel White of Family Matters; Brandy's mom and dad; and 18 classmates from Pepperdine University, where she's a freshman.
Amid the celebrating, Brandy's mom, Sonja Norwood, 45, took a moment to ponder the rite of passage. "I don't fear her leaving me because I think she's well-prepared," she said of her daughter, whose first album, made when she was 15, went quadruple platinum. On this night at least, she was certainly prepared to party. "All my favorite stars, my family and my friends are here," said Brandy. "I'm having the happiest birthday that an 18-year-old girl could ever have."