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Brandy headlines Baltimore's African American Festival

Brandy headlines Baltimore's African American Festival

The comeback narrative is well-trodden pop-music territory: Disappear from public consciousness once the hits stop coming, toil away in the studio quietly for an extended period and then surprise everyone with a major splash of new material.

In the rare case you do it right — like say, Justin Timberlake — chart domination can follow. But for countless others, the comeback trail is less forgiving.

When Brandy returned to music from a nearly four-year hiatus in 2012, the R&B singer and actress seemed poised to regain her place among the genre's elite. Her sixth album, “Two Eleven,” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and reflected a progressive sound that infused the...