Today we’re talking about the talented Monica. You might know her as an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She’s a total powerhouse, having sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, which is seriously impressive! Monica’s music has been enjoyed by fans all around the world, and she’s considered one of the most successful urban R&B vocalists in history.
One of Monica’s biggest hits was her duet with Brandy Norwood called “The Boy Is Mine.” It was released in 1998 and quickly became a fan favorite. The song topped charts in several countries, went 2x Platinum, won a Grammy, and put both singers on the map as international superstars.
If you’re a true fan, you probably know that Monica released her debut studio album, “Miss Thang,” at just 13 years old! And she didn’t stop there. She went on to release seven more albums, including “All Eyez on Me” (2002), “Still Standing” (2010), and “Code Red” (2015). Monica has had six #1 singles, and in 1995, she became the youngest artist to have two back-to-back #1 hits on the “Billboard” Top R&B Singles chart with “Don’t Take It Personal” and “Before You Walk out of My Life.”
But that’s not all! Monica has also dabbled in acting and has appeared in several film and television projects, such as “Love Song” (2000), “American Dreams” (2003), and “Pastor Brown” (2009). Plus, she starred in the BET reality show “Monica: Still Standing” in 2009.
It’s no wonder “Billboard” ranked Monica #24 on their 2010 “Top 50 R&B / Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years” list. She’s truly a talented artist, and her fans can’t get enough of her music and acting skills.
Let’s dive into the early years of Monica Denise Arnold, also known as Monica. Born on October 24, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, Monica’s parents were Marilyn, who worked for Delta Air Lines, and Billy, who was a mechanic for a freight company. She grew up with her younger brother Montez, and also has a half-brother, Jermond, from her dad’s side.
After her parents split up in 1987, her mom Marilyn went on to marry Reverend Edward Best, who’s actually the uncle of rapper Ludacris! Now that’s pretty cool, don’t you think?
Monica started singing at a really young age, just 2 years old, and performed at the Jones Hill Chapel United Methodist Church. When she was a teenager, she won more than 20 singing competitions, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. At just 10 years old, she even became the youngest member of a traveling gospel choir called Charles Thompson and the Majestics.
During her high school years, Monica went to North Clayton High School and had rapper 2 Chainz as one of her classmates. How cool is that? Monica’s talent and passion for music were evident from a young age, and it’s amazing to see how far she’s come in her career.
Monica has been making waves in the music industry since she was discovered by producer Dallas Austin at Atlanta’s center stage auditorium at just 11 years old. Her debut album “Miss Thang,” released on July 18, 1995, under Rowdy Records (an imprint of Arista Records), quickly went 3x Platinum and featured hit singles like “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days),” “Like This and Like That,” and “Before You Walk Out of My Life.”
After switching to Arista Records, Monica continued to make hits, including “For You I Will” in 1996, which was on the “Space Jam” soundtrack, and collaborating with Brandy on “The Boy Is Mine” in 1998. The latter became the year’s biggest hit and was also the title track of Monica’s second album, which was certified 3x Platinum and included #1 hits like “Angel of Mine” and “The First Night.”
Throughout her career, Monica has also dabbled in acting, guest-starring on shows like “New York Undercover” (1996), “Living Single” (1996), and “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1997—1999). She has also appeared in movies like “Love Song” and “Boys and Girls.”
Monica’s third album, “All Eyez on Me,” was released in November 2002 on Clive Davis’s new J Records label, and in June 2003, she followed it with “After the Storm,” which reached the coveted #1 spot on the “Billboard” 200 and included the top 10 single “So Gone.” She continued to release successful albums, including “The Makings of Me” in 2006 and “Still Standing” in 2010, which reached #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart and #2 on the “Billboard” 200.
In addition to her music career, Monica has also served as an advisor to coach Cee Lo Green on the NBC singing competition “The Voice” in 2011, formed a non-profit organization called The Be Human Foundation in 2018, and even hosted her own radio show on Apple Music called “Mo Talk.”
Monica’s latest single “Commitment” (from her forthcoming album “Trenches”) topped the Adult R&B Songs chart in 2019. She also reunited with Brandy on “Verzuz,” an online battle series, in August 2020. With a career spanning several decades and countless achievements, Monica is a true icon in the music industry.
Awards and Nominations
This talented artist has had an impressive career, including being nominated for four Grammys and winning Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1999 for “The Boy Is Mine” – which, by the way, is a total banger.
But Monica’s success doesn’t stop there. She’s also won the Centric Award at the 2010 BET Awards and was named R&B Artist of the Year at the 2006 “Billboard” Music Awards. Pretty cool, right?
And let’s not forget about all the other award nominations she’s racked up over the years. Monica has been recognized by the American Music Awards, “Billboard” Music Video Awards, Lady of Soul Awards, MOBO Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. Talk about an impressive resume!
Most recently, Monica was announced as the recipient of the Lady of Soul Award at the Soul Train Awards in November 2020. We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.
Overall, Monica is a true icon in the R&B world, and we can’t wait to see what other amazing achievements she adds to her already-impressive list of accomplishments.
So, back in the year 2000, Monica’s boyfriend Jarvis Weems called her up while driving to the cemetery where his brother was buried. He told her he wanted to join his brother, who had passed away earlier. Monica rushed to the cemetery to stop him from ending his life, but unfortunately, Weems wouldn’t let her in the car. He rolled up the window and, sadly, shot himself in the head.
As you can imagine, this loss hit Monica hard, especially considering her cousin’s recent death from a brain aneurysm, and her ex-boyfriend C-Murder’s incarceration for murder. She struggled to eat, sleep or drink, and wondered if she’d ever find healing.
But in the fall of 2000, Monica began dating rapper Rodney “Rocko” Hill, and they welcomed a son, Rocko, into the world on May 21, 2005. They got engaged in late 2007 and gave their son a little brother, Romelo, on January 8, 2008.
Unfortunately, Monica and Rodney didn’t last, and they split up in early 2010. But Monica’s love life didn’t end there. She went on to marry NBA player Shannon Brown on November 22, 2010. Together, they had a daughter named Laiyah, born on September 3, 2013.
Sadly, things didn’t work out for Monica and Shannon, and they eventually divorced in 2019. But throughout all of her ups and downs, Monica has remained a strong and talented woman, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.