Monica (full name Monica 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, has seen her career experience a second wind in the year 2003.
Hailing from Atlanta, Monica achieved prominence in the American hip-hop 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 did not really break big with mainstream America until early 1997, when "For You I Will," off of the Space Jam movie soundtrack became a top 40 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, according to Billboard chart success, in history.
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 America and TRL video favorites on MTV. The album's fourth single, "Street Symphony," was a more creative and less urban approach for Monica; however it failed to chart or sell notably in America. Its video received only minor airplay.
Monica's career saw a lull between the years 2000 and 2003, during which time Monica was dealing with more personal tribulations, including the suicide of her boyfriend. She released some soundtrack singles during this time, which failed to take off. In 2003, she returned with her third album, After The Storm. It spawned the single "So Gone", a Missy Elliott-produced hit that was a staple at urban radio and urban music video stations during the summer of 2003, but failed to cross over to the mainstream. Other singles off the album include "Knock, Knock," a sequel to "So Gone," "U Should've Known Better," which became an urban hit in the spring and summer of 2004; and "Get It Off," a single that was remixed and released only to dance radio and clubs.
Her singles from her three albums, and any soundtracks, include:
- "Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)"
- "Before You Walk Out Of My Life"
- "Like This And Like That"
- "Ain't Nobody" (featuring Treach from Naughty By Nature)
- "For You I Will"
The Boy Is Mine (1998) 3x Platinum
- "The Boy Is Mine" (duet with Brandy) #1 for 13 weeks
- "The First Night" #1 for 5 weeks
- "Angel Of Mine" #1 for 4 weeks
- "Street Symphony"
- "Just Another Girl"
All Eyez On Me / After The Storm (2003) Gold
- "All Eyez On Me"
- "Too Hood"
- "So Gone"
- "Get It Off" (club single)
- "Knock Knock"
- "U Should've Known Better"