She was a child star who was able to continue amassing success as the years rolled on, but not everything in Brandy‘s life has been an easy road. The singer was America’s Sweetheart as “Moesha” and with each pop-R&B hit, Brandy told PEOPLE that she felt pigeonholed into staying in the lane of her “perfect” image. In 2002, the singer had her own unscripted series titled Brandy: Special Delivery where she allowed cameras to document her pregnancy and birth of daughter Sy’rai Smith. When fans saw that she was having a child outside of marriage, Brandy said “it changed people’s perspective of me.”

Four years later, tragedy struck after Brandy was involved in a car accident that took the life of a 38-year-old woman. The case was settled out of court and was the catalyst for what would become a deep depression for the singer. “I remember laying in bed super depressed,” she said, adding that she contemplated suicide. “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.'”

“I was a little bit lost eight years ago musically, creatively, spiritually. I had to pull myself together, I had to pull it all together and make it all make sense,” said Brandy. “If Sy’rai wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be either. The place that I was in, it just felt like I wasn’t going to make it through.” We’re happy that she kept pushing forward.

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