EXCLUSIVE: Brandy on ESSENCE Fest Performance and Honoring Whitney Houston

Photo by Michael Rowe
"I was so excited and so anxious," said Brandy of her first ESSENCE Festival performance. 

It's hard to believe that after a 19-year career, this was Brandy's first performance at the ESSENCE Festival. The recently-engaged Grammy winner was ready for the momentous challenge of singing in front of a sold-out audience at the Superdome. "I was so excited and so anxious," she tells ESSENCE.com. "Every emotion you can think of was in my body." Brandy also performed a tribute to her mentor Whitney Houston, singing hits like "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."

"I wouldn't be the artist I am if it weren't for her influence," she said.

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