It hasn’t been an easy road for Brandy.

From heartbreak to the loss of family and friends to the 2006 car accident that claimed the life of a 38-year-old woman, the Moesha star has experienced insurmountable grief over the years. So much so that at one point she even contemplated suicide.

“I remember laying in bed super depressed,” she said in an interview with People. “I [told] myself, ‘So you’re just going to go out like this? That’s wack. You have a daughter. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for her because this is not the way to leave a mark in her life.'”

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But it was her daughter, Sy’rai, now 18, who was able to pull her from those once dark thoughts that she experienced. “If Sy’rai wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be either,” she says. “The place that I was in, it just felt like I wasn’t going to make it through.”

In early 2002, when Brandy announced she was pregnant with her first child, the world was shocked to know that she had also secretly tied the knot in the summer of 2001 with then-boyfriend Robert Smith. Though they welcomed daughter Sy’rai, the pair would split a year later and Smith would go on to reveal that despite the picture-perfect marriage they portrayed while filming a reality TV show during her pregnancy, he and Brandy had never in fact married. 

Brandy further reveals that this “changed people’s perspective of her” at the time, “but had to focus on what was important, which was Sy’rai.”

For the first time, Brandy is opening up about these personal experiences in her music on her new album, B7. Her singles “Borderline” and “Bye Bipolar” provide a release for the bouts of depression she faced at the time. (Though she does clarify that she’s never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.)

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