Brandy: Never Say Never (1998). The Next Level
B. Cox and Domo review Brandy's classic sophomore album Never Say Never as it turns 25. After her smash eponymous debut album helped make her a household name among R&B fans, Brandy began to diversify her portfolio as an entertainer, starring her own sitcom Moesha, the Cinderella remake and I (Still) Know What You Did Last Summer. In late 1997, she began recording her second album now linked with an upcoming producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. Jerkins along with his production and writing team of his brother Fred, Harvey Mason, Jr, Lashawn Daniels as well other writers and producers David Foster, Marc Nelson and Diane Warren among others, set to craft a new sound for the maturing Brandy.
Jerkins and his versatile production style proved to be a match for Brandy and her now mature and powerful voice and his production and writing team helped build an album that reflected Brandy's life, struggles and innermost thoughts. He also encouraged her to co-write a few of the songs, which made the project that much more candid and well rounded. The final product was something far beyond what fans or critics could dream of.
The album featured up to seven singles, most notably two #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits "The Boy Is Mine: featuring fellow R&B singer Monica and "Have You Ever?" and the top 20 hits "Angel In Disguise" and "Almost Doesn't Count". The album has been certified 4x platinum and has sold 16 million copies worldwide. It is Brandy's best-selling album to date and is recognized as her best and most influential work.
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