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Monica (full name Monica Denise Arnold, born October 24, 1980), is an African-American R&B singer who first attained commercial success in the 1990s and, after a relatively unsuccessful period during the early 2000s, saw her career experience a second wind in the year 2003.
Hailing from Atlanta, Monica is is the daughter of divorced parents and has one brother named Montez. She began singing at an early age in the church like her mother. Monica later achieved prominence in the R&B scene at the young age of fourteen in 1995, thanks to BET, MTV, and urban radio's support for her debut single, the sassy "Don't Take It Personal". Almost immediately, the media drew comparisons between Monica and Brandy who had also emerged as a teen female R&B vocalist just a year earlier. Monica's debut album, Miss Thang, became a urban success in America, thanks to the singles "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" and "Like This And Like That," which maintained Monica's popularity in hip-hop and on MTV through 1996.
Monica's mainstream success was boosted in early 1997, when "For You I Will," from the Space Jam movie soundtrack, became a top 10 pop hit. The following year, "The Boy is Mine," Monica's duet with Brandy and the first single off of both of their sophomore albums, became the biggest hit of the summer and the biggest hit of 1998 in general in America, spending a total of 13 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and garnering multi-platinum sales of the single. To date, it remains as one of the top ten most successful American singles in history based on Billboard chart success.
Monica maintained her mainstream commercial success with the followup singles "The First Night" and "Angel Of Mine," both of which became number one pop hits in the U.S. and TRL video favorites on MTV. The album's fourth single, "Street Symphony," failed to chart or sell notably in America. Its video received only minor airplay.
Monica's career saw troubles between the years 2000 and 2003, during which time she dealt with more personal tribulations including the suicide of her boyfriend. She released some soundtrack singles during this time which failed to take off. She planned to release her third album All Eyez on Me in 2002, but the album was never released in the U.S.; it was only released in Japan. J records stated that the album was not released due to heavy bootlegging of the album. However, some fans believe that the album was pushed back because the title track "All Eyez on Me" failed to become a hit single.
In 2003, Monica returned with her third album, After The Storm. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, but quickly fell off the charts due to a lack of promotion. It spawned the single "So Gone", a Missy Elliott-produced hit that was a staple at urban radio and music video stations during the summer of 2003, ending up as the most-played song at urban radio for 2003. The second single off the album, "Knock Knock", failed to crack the top 20 of the R&B chart, but the third single "U Should've Known Better" (originally written for the scrapped "All Eyez On Me" album) went on to become a hit more than a year after the album's release.
Monica and her fiancé, producer Rodney R. Hill Jr., welcomed a son, Rodney Ramon Hill III, into the world on May 21, 2005. Monica's fans will be patiently waiting for her next album which is set to drop early 2006.
- Miss Thang (1995) #36 US (3x Platinum)
- The Boy Is Mine (1998) #8 US (3x Platinum)
- All Eyez On Me (2002) (Japanese release only)
- After The Storm (2003) #1 US (Platinum)
- 1995 "Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)" #1 US, #32 UK
- 1995 "Like This And Like That" #33 UK
- 1995 "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" #1 US, #22 UK
- 1996 "Why I Love You So Much" #9 US
- 1996 "Ain't Nobody" (featuring Treach of Naughty By Nature)
- 1997 "For You I Will" #1 US, #27 UK
- 1998 "The Boy Is Mine" (duet with Brandy) #1 US, #2 UK
- 1998 "The First Night" #1 US, #6 UK
- 1999 "Angel Of Mine" #1 US , #55 UK
- 1999 "Street Symphony"
- 1999 "Inside" (European release only)
- 1999 "Right Here Waiting" (featuring 112)
- 2001 "Just Another Girl" #64 US, #34 R&B
- 2002 "All Eyez On Me", #69 US, #32 R&B
- 2002 "Too Hood"
- 2003 "So Gone" #10 US, #1 R&B, #1 Dance/Club Play
- 2004 "Knock Knock" #75 US, #24 R&B
- 2004 "Get It Off" #13 Dance/Club Play
- 2004 "U Should've Known Better" #19 US, #6 R&B
- 2004 "Don't Gotta Go Home" (Ft.DMX)
- 1997 "Slow Jam" (with Usher Raymond; from My Way)
- 1998 "The Boy Is Mine" (with Brandy Norwood)
- 2003 "Don't Be Cruel" (with Missy Elliott & Beenie Man; from This Is Not A Test!)
- 2003 "Class Reunion" (with Wyclef Jean; from The Preacher's Son)
- 2004 "Don't Gotta Go Home" (with DMX; from Grand Champ)
- Fled ("Missing You", 1996)
- Space Jam ("For You I Will", 1997)
- Love Song ("What My Heart Says", 2000)
- Platinum Christmas ("Grown Up Christmas List", 2000)
- Wings of the Crow ("Angel of Mine", 2000)
- Down To Earth ("Just Another Girl", 2001)
- Drumline ("Uh Oh", 2002)
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights ("Can I Walk By" with Jazze Pha, 2004)
- Diary of a Mad Black Woman ("Sick & Tired", 2005)
- Love Song (2000) (TV)
- Boys & Girls (2000)
- Living Single playing "Marissa" in episode: "Kiss of the Spider Man"
- Felicity playing "Sarah Robinson" in episode: "Miss Conception"
- American Dreams playing "Mary Wells" in episode: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"
- 1996 Billboard Music Awards: R&B Artist of the Year
- 1998 MTV Music Awards: Rhythm & Blues Video of the Year for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1998 Billboard Music Awards: Top Dance Maxi Single for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1998 Billboard Music Awards: Top 100 Single Sales for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1998 Billboard Music Awards: Top R&B Sales for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1998 Billboard Music Video Awards: Best R&B/Urban Clip for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1998 Grammy Awards: Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy
- 1999 BMI Awards: "The Boy is Mine" (indirect; songwriter award)
- 2000 BMI Awards: "The Boy is Mine" (indirect; songwriter award)
- Monica - Official site
- Monica lyrics organized by album at lyrics.info