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Music / Monica

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Miss Thang all grown up
Kick down ya doors and smack ya chick
Just to show you Monica not havin' it
—"So Gone", After The Storm (2003)

Monica Denise 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)note 
  • After the Storm (2003)
  • The Makings of Me (2006)
  • Still Standing (2010)
  • New Life (2012)
  • Code Red (2015)

Selected Filmography

I've got troooooooooooopes all over me!

  • Cover Version: Monica has several:
    • "Tell Me If You Still Care" and "Let's Straighten It Out" from Miss Thang, originally performed by S.O.S. Band and Benny Latimore respectively.
    • The Boy Is Mine has three:
      • "Angel of Mine," originally performed by British R&B Girl Group Eternal. Monica's version is much more well known, and was even a #1 hit in America.
      • "Misty Blue," originally performed by Dorothy Moore.
      • "Right Here Waiting," originally performed by Richard Marx.
  • 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.
  • Grief Song: "I Wrote This Song" from After The Storm.
    I love my baby so
    But he's not here no more
    Hard for me to understand
    So I wrote him this song
    Couldn't look him in his eyes
    Knew I couldn't change his mind
    So I wrote this melody
    And I'm saying sweet goodbye
  • Let's Duet: Monica has dueted with several fellow singers:
    • Her most notable duet is "The Boy Is Mine" with Brandy. They released a Sequel Song in 2012 titled "It All Belongs To Me."
    • She has two with Usher: "Let's Straighten It Out" from Miss Thang, and "Slow Jam" from his My Way album.
      • In 2020, she revealed at her VERZUZ battle with Brandy that she requested another duet with Usher but he declined her offer.
    • "Hustler's Ambition" with Akon from Code Red.
  • Melismatic Vocals: As expected from an R&B vocalist. Some notable examples:
    • "Before You Walk Out of My Life"
    • The bridge of "I Keep It To Myself"
    • The climax of "I Wrote This Song"
    • "Everything to Me"
  • 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.
  • Re-Release The Album: After The Storm is this to All Eyez on Me which was only released in Japan. Five songs made it over to After The Storm:
    • "U Should've Known"
    • "I Wrote This Song"
    • "Breaks My Heart"
    • "Ain't Gonna Cry No More"
    • "What Hurts the Most"