Monica Arnold, also known mononymously as Monica (born October 24, 1980) is an American singer and actor. As a child, she sang as part of her church choir and from there participated in several talent competitions. She was discovered by music producer Dallas Austin at the age of eleven, landed a recording contract (and was managed by Queen Latifah) and released her first album, Miss Thang, contained the singles "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)" and "Before You Walk Out of My Life", which charted at the top of the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. Her breakout into the mainstream came towards the end of the 90's, with the song "For You I Will," from the Space Jam soundtrack along with a duet with Brandy, "The Boy is Mine." Her second album, also titled The Boy is Mine was released yielded two more hits, with "The First Night" and "Angel of Mine."
Monica has also acted in several productions, the most well known is MTV telefilm Love Song. She has sold over 5.3 million albums in the United States, and is known by Billboard as she is the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive number 1 Billboard Top R&B Singles. Also known for having a Friendly Rivalry with Brandy, as she's seen as the Darker and Edgier counterpart to Brandy's squeaky clean image.
- Miss Thang (1995)
- The Boy Is Mine (1998)
- All Eyez on Me (2002)
- After the Storm (2003)
- The Makings of Me (2006)
- Still Standing (2010)
- New Life (2012)
- Code Red (2015)
- Living Single (1996) - Marissa, guest appearance
- Boys And Girls (2000) - Katie
- Love Song (2000) - Camille Livingston
- Felicity (2001) Sarah Robinson, guest appearance
- American Dreams (2003) - Mary Wells, guest appearance
- ATL (2006) - Waffle House Waitress
- Monica: Still Standing (2009) Herself, Reality series
- Cover Version: "Angel of Mine" is a cover song from British R&B Girl Group Eternal. Monica's version is much more well known, and was even a #1 hit in America.
- Celibate Hero: Monica turns down sex with her date in "The First Night", at least on the first date.
- Darker and Edgier: Monica is seen as this compared to Brandy, who is seen as her main contemporary.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Monica's second album is titled The Boy Is Mine, named after the duet with Brandy, a decision that was met with a lot of confusion considering the name doesn't really fit the theme/feel of the album. It's been heavily rumored and suggested that Clive Davis was the one that pushed for the album to be titled The Boy Is Mine to take advantage of the superhit that was the song.
- Melismatic Vocals: As expected from an R&B vocalist.
- Playing Gertrude: Monica was 15 when she first sang "Before You Walk Out Of My Life", and while the song itself is age-appropriate, the video sees her married and going through a divorce to an older man. This was common in the The '90s for young R&B singers.
- R&B/Contemporary R&B: One of the most known singers of this style from the 1990s.
- Sampling: A lot of her biggest hits use samples, such as "The First Night" (from Diana Ross's "Love Hangover"), "So Gone" (The Whisper's "You Are Number One"), "Knock Knock" (from The Masqueraders' "It's a Terrible Thing to Waste Your Love"), "Everything to Me" (from Deniece Williams's "Silly"), among others.