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Hinesville woman's daughter dances with Fergie
Brandee for lewis story
Brandee Stephens - photo by Photo provided.
Brandee Stephens describes herself as a saint and, well, even a superstar which accounts for her stage name, Saint Brandee Superstar.
The former Atlanta native is on the road to fulfilling her dreams as one of two backup dancers for Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas and has performed solo for the past several years.
Stephens, when asked her age and how long she had been performing, said with a smile, “A lady never tells her age.”
The 5’1” bundle of energy recently sat for an interview while visiting her mother Shirley Stephens in Hinesville. She talked about what it takes to break into the extremely competitive business.
“From what my mother tells me, I told her at the age of 2 that I wanted to be a dancer, and once I was potty trained she would put me in a dance class.”
And Shirley Stephens did enter her daughter in a dance class in Atlanta early on. Over the years Stephens has performed with several dance companies until she got her big break. She received a call from a friend, Shanell Woodgett, who toured with artists and performed in music videos with the rapper Bow Wow.
“I went to the audition, passed it and got a spot as a dancer while he toured,” Stephens said. “In this business its who you know that helps.”
In addition Stephens said there was a lot of hard work. She recalls the energy she felt from the crowd of 5,000 on her first night on the stage with Bow Wow.
“It helped being on stage with seasoned dancers. I had to set my standards very high just being on stage with them. While I was out there I thought to myself this is it. I’m here.”
Over the years, Stephens has worked with numerous artist such as Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Neyo and the Black Eyed Peas. She landed the permanent spot with Fergie, the female singer of the Black Eyed Peas who pursued a solo career while the group was on hiatus.
Stephens auditioned for Fergie three years ago. It was supposed to be for one show. But, the one show became a tour around the world and has been that way ever since.
Stephens said she enjoys enjoys being in a competitive career.
“It’s very competitive. It’s not unusual to compete against 400 other dancers during an audition. You have to keep in mind that if your not up to the job, there are 399 other girls just waiting to fill that slot.”  Life on the road means a lot of sacrifices such as missing weddings, family vacations and just hanging around with friends.
“Traveling can be grueling,” Stephens said. “You don’t get enough rest, and get sick a lot. There is a lot of downtime between shows, and a lot of time when you get bored sitting in hotel rooms. And yes the airlines even lose your luggage, which has happened to me two times, but I was lucky to get it back.”
Stephens lives in Los Angeles and is working on a hip hop CD being produced by her boyfriend, Grammy winner Keith Harris, a drummer for The Black Eyed Peas and owner of Keith Harris Productions.
Harris said Stephens has a lot of potential.
“She is definitely a talented young lady who could sing, act and choreograph.”
Her mother, who is employed on Fort Stewart, couldn’t be prouder of her.
“I think what she is doing is great,” Shirley Stephens said. “She is following her own path. In life, a lot of people don’t get to do that and she has the motivation to do it.”
Stephens has a music video on MySpace that can be found at
Stephens said she plans on offering workshops soon to children of military members in Hinesville and Savannah.
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