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Raised in a Christian home, Norwood started singing through her father's work as part of the local church choir, performing her first gospel solo at the age of two.In 1983, her parents relocated to Los Angeles, California, where Norwood was schooled at the Hollywood High Performing Arts Center.While the sitcom managed to increase its audience every new season and spawned a spin-off titled The Parkers, the network decided to cancel the show after six seasons on the air, leaving it ending with a cliffhanger for a scrapped seventh season.Norwood was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress for her performance.Appearing alongside William Allen Young and Sheryl Lee Ralph, she played the title role of Moesha Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl coping with a stepmother as well as the pressures and demands of becoming an adult.Originally bought by CBS, the program debuted on UPN in January 1996, and soon became their most-watched show.Norwood co-wrote and produced six songs on the album which yielded her first number-one song on the U. Billboard Hot 100, "The Boy Is Mine", a duet with singer Monica that has become the most successful song by a female duo in the music industry.
Norwood recalled that she appreciated the cancellation of the show as she was unenthusiastic about acting at the time, and the taping caused scheduling conflicts with the recording of her album. It was a good thing, because I could do what I had to do, because I wanted to sing." Williams hired producer Keith Crouch and R&B group Somethin' for the People to work with Norwood, and within eight months the team crafted Brandy.I was singing about being attracted to the opposite sex, but I had no experience behind it." Released in September 1994, the album peaked at number twenty on the U. Blige [...] with good songs and crisp production." Anderson Jones of Entertainment Weekly asserted, "Teen actress Norwood acts her age.A premature effort at best, that seems based on the philosophy 'If Aaliyah can do it, why can't I?" She also embarked on the successful Never Say Never World Tour in 1998, consisting of sold out performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Gary Gray's 1996 film, Set It Off, Norwood made her big screen debut in the supporting role of Karla Wilson in the slasher film, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.The movie outperformed the original with a total of .5 million at its opening weekend, but critical reaction to the film was largely disappointing, with film review site Rotten Tomatoes calculating a poor rating of 7% based on 46 reviews.