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Brandy Bails on Record Label

Brandy is bidding adios to her longtime record label, Atlantic Records, her publicist said Monday.

The news might have something to do with the “Top of the World” chantuese no longer being, well, on top of the world.

Once a staple of MTV and urban radio, the 25-year-old R&B singer has recently been eclipsed by a new crop of teenage divas.

Despite solid reviews and a huge promotional push from Atlantic this past summer for her fourth release on the label, Afrodisiac, the disc quickly disappeared from the upper echelons of Billboard ‘s pop charts after a number three debut in July.

Afrodisiac has sold fewer than 400,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data-less than stellar numbers for a singer used to triple-platinum selling releases.

The Grammy-winning singer has reportedly been granted an unconditional release from her contract with Atlantic, leaving many music industry insiders wondering where the star will turn for her next release. She is reportedly in talks with several labels.

The “Sittin’ up in My Room” singer’s exit from Atlantic, the only label she’s ever recorded for, may have been a mutual decision.

“Sometimes both the artist and the label believe it would be equally beneficial to part ways,” said HITS magazine editor and E! News Live correspondent David Adelson.

“Assuming there’s not a messy financial situation that needs to be settled, it is certainly possible that both parties can make a clean break.”

Brandy fans certainly hope her break with Atlantic is clean and beneficial for her career-it’s been a rocky year for the former child star.

In July, her ex-husband, music producer Robert Smith, announced that their union was a sham.

Brandy announced in 2001 that she and Smith had secretly wed. The couple divorced two years later.

Smith, apparently still smarting over the entire affair, said the two faked their marriage to keep up Brandy’s good-girl image after she became pregnant with his child. Their daugther, Sy’rai, was born in June 2002.

Brandy would only say, “I am deeply hurt and shocked by the things Robert has been saying,” adding that the ex-couple had a “spiritual union.”

It didn’t take Brandy too long to rebound, however. The singer announced her engagement to Phoenix Suns hoopster Quentin Richardson a week after Smith went public with the fake wedding news.

Meanwhile, Brandy’s TV career seems back on track. She is teaming with her manager/mom, Sonja Norwood, and Touchstone Television to produce a fall 2005 comedy series for Fox

Brandy’s music fans who can’t wait for her to sign a new record deal, can hear her next on her brother Ray J’s upcoming Sanctuary release, Raydiation, due early next year.

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