With 20 years under her belt as an A-list multihyphenate—Grammy Award-winning singer, NAACP Image Award-winning actress—one might assume that it takes a lot to take Brandy’s breath away. As it turns out, a riveting, Oscar-winning performance in one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2013 will do the trick.
“Lupita! I can’t wait to meet her today,” Brandy said at Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon on Thursday honoring Lupita Nyong’o, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “I’m really excited for her. I saw her at the NAACP Awards, but I just saw her. I didn’t meet her. But I want to go up to her today, and say ‘Hi. You’re amazing. I’m so happy for you.’”
That wasn’t all that kept The Game lead smiling. The ladies-who-lunch affair, in its seventh year, was a spectacle Brandy said encompassed “unity, power, inspiration” and made her anxious to meet the “fearless women” of both established and emerging Tinseltown cred. It also brought to mind a pivotal moment in Brandy’s career when she recognized that she, too, had arrived.
“To become the first African-American princess! Cinderella was the moment for me,” said Brandy. “I couldn’t believe that was happening, and I couldn’t believe that I was playing alongside my idol, Whitney Houston. That moment will always, forever, be a part of me. It changed my life.”
As for that groundbreaking afternoon at The Beverly Hills Hotel, where the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett, and Naomie Harris convened under one roof: “It’s like a dream.”
A dream come true, indeed!