Entertainment Music Happy Birthday, Brandy! Iconic Throwback Photos of the Star The Grammy-winning singer turns 43 on Feb. 11 By Janine Henni Janine Henni Twitter Janine Henni is a Royals Staff Writer for PEOPLE Digital, covering modern monarchies and the world's most famous families. Like Queen Elizabeth, she loves horses and a great tiara moment. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 11, 2022 08:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 18 Voice of an Angel Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty A 14-year-old Brandy hit a high note while performing in Chicago in 1994. She would release her self-titled album later that year. 02 of 18 Record Success Raymond Boyd/Getty Images Brandy dropped in September 1994, and the newly minted teen star giggled with glee while signing albums (at a Blockbuster!) two months later. Brandy was a smash success, reaching No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and peaking with two No. 1 singles on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart, per Billboard. 03 of 18 Like Brother, Like Sister Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Show business was a family affair for the Norwood kids! Brandy leaned on her younger brother Ray J at the 1994 Kids Choice Awards in Los Angeles. 04 of 18 Taking the Stage Bill Nation/Sygma/Getty Lending her voice to an important cause, Brandy stood alongside Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, then-President Bill Clinton, former first lady Betty Ford and former President Gerald Ford at Bennett's "Here's to the Ladies, A Concert of Hope." The 1995 musical event benefitted the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. 05 of 18 Hot in Pink Evan Agostini/Liaison The rising star smiled at the Billboard Music Awards in 1995, where she won best new R&B artist and best R&B female artist, as well as best new clip in both the rap and R&B/urban categories for her song "I Wanna Be Down." 06 of 18 Meet Moesha Matthew Rolson/United Paramount Network The teen idol struck a pose in a promotional poster for Moesha, her acting debut. Brandy starred on the UPN sitcom for six seasons, playing the titular character – a spunky teen growing up in Los Angeles – from 1996 to 2001. 07 of 18 Cinderella Moment Walt Disney Television/Everett A dream is a wish your heart makes! Brandy made television history when she became the first Black woman to play Cinderella onscreen in ABC's 1997 TV musical. 08 of 18 Making Magic Walt Disney Television/courtesy Everett In a real-life fairytale twist, the starlet was handpicked by her idol Whitney Houston to play the iconic princess in the TV special, which was celebrated for its diverse cast. "My childhood dreams were to be a singer, touch as many people as I could and to meet Whitney Houston, just meet her," Brandy told PEOPLE in 2020. "So to meet her, hang out with her and sing with her, it was unbelievable. For her to cast me in such a role, the first Black princess, I don't know the words to really describe what that feels like." 09 of 18 My Mentor & Me Getty Sparkling onscreen and off, the superstars posed for a picture at the Hollywood premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1997. 10 of 18 Grammy Whammy SGranitz/WireImage Brandy kissed her Grammy Award at the 1999 ceremony, where she won for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals for her duet with Monica for "The Boy Is Mine." 11 of 18 Hello, Leno Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/Getty The actress and singer waved on her way into The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1999. 12 of 18 Teen Queen SGranitz/WireImage Brandy beamed at the Fox's 1st Annual Teen Choice Awards in 1999. 13 of 18 Brandy Barbie Online USA/Getty (2) The artist got the Barbie treatment when Mattel made dolls in her likeness in 2000. 14 of 18 Have Each Other's Backs Gregg DeGuire/WireImage Ray J leaned on his older sister for a playful picture at the 1st Annual BET Awards in 2001. 15 of 18 Multitasking Mama Donato Sardella/WireImage The "Sitting Up in My Room" singer held her daughter Sy'rai, then 1, at a Bel Air event benefitting the Aaliyah Memorial Fund. "I met Aaliyah when I was about 15. It was I think at a rehearsal for the Soul Train Awards and someone introduced us," Brandy told Billboard in 2011. "I was so excited to meet her because she was the first girl on the scene. She came out before Monica and I did, she was our inspiration." 16 of 18 The Other Side of the Stage Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty The actress and singer served as one of the original judges on the first season of America's Got Talent, which premiered in 2006. In this throwback photo, Brandy smiled alongside her fellow judges Piers Morgan and David Hasselhoff, plus host Regis Philbin. 17 of 18 Lights, Camera, Dance Adam Larkey/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty The multi-hyphenate entertainer competed on season 11 of Dancing with the Stars with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. 18 of 18 Velvet Vocals Kevin Winter/DCNYRE2013/Getty/DCP Brandy graced the stage with some emotive backup dancers at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve celebration in 2012.