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Monica 1980–

Monica 1980

Vocalist

An R&B Prodigy

Deflected Conservative Criticism

Outstanding Academic Achievement

The Boy Is Mine

Selected discography

Sources

In 1995 Atlanta native Monica became the youngest artist ever to achieve two No. 1 hits on the Billboard R&B singles chart in the same year. In an era when her teen cohorts in the industry, such as Brandy and Aaliyah, also enjoy massive chart success, the gospel-trained singer easily won praise for both her talent, self-possession, and her down-to-earth demeanor. Monica stood apart from the crowd of one-name teenage Divas with her rich, soulful voice and her unbridled confidence, wrote Melissa Ewey in Ebony. Some of that soul and maturity may be the result of her childhoodshe was raised with three brothers in a single-parent household, and has battled various critical snipes and salacious rumors since the start of her career. You can hear the struggle in her voice; its husky, gospel-tinged, knowing, declared Veronica Chambers in Newsweek in 1998. Forget about her ageunlike her teen counterparts, Monica makes music for grownups, she added.

Born Monica Arnold on October 24, 1980, she was joined by a quick succession of three brothers before her parents split when she was just four. She would have little contact with her mechanic father, M.C. Arnold Jr., until she became a celebrity. Monica and her brothers were raised by her mother, Marilyn, who worked full-time to support them, with help from her own mother. Monicas mother eventually became a consumer affairs official at Delta Air Lines and was remarried to a minister, Dr. E.J. Best, in 1993. While the singer was on promotional tours for her first album, she told Ewey in Ebony, she met other teens who had also been through less-than-idyllic childhoods. They were surprised that I went through a lot of the same things they had, like there were nights when my mother didnt eat so I could, Monica said.

An R&B Prodigy

Despite her rough work schedule, Best was also devoted to her church and choir, and passed on that love of gospel music to her daughter. Growing up in College Park, Georgiaa suburb of AtlantaMonica began singing in the church choir alongside her mother when she was just a toddler. As a child in the mid-1980s, Monica was a huge fan of Whitney Houston, who enjoyed a string of hits throughout the decade. One song in

At a Glance

Born Monica Arnold on October 24, 1980; daugh ter of M.C. Arnold Jr. (a mechanic) and Marilyn Best (a consumer affairs officer for an airline). Religion: Methodist.

Career: Joined Charles Thompson and the Majesties (traveling gospel choir) at the age of 10; signed to Rowdy Records, 1993; signed to Arista Records, c. 1994; released debut album, Miss Thang, 1995; song For You I Will, on Space Jam soundtrack; album The Boy Is Mine, 1998.

Addresses: Office Arista Records, 6 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

Houstons repertoirewhich also reflected her own heavy-duty gospel backgroundwas The Greatest Love of All, and Monica made this song her own when she first sang it publicly at the age of nine. An obvious vocal prodigy, she joined a traveling gospel choir, Charles Thompson and the Majesties, at the age of 10.

Soon Monica was winning honors in Atlanta-area talent shows with The Greatest Love of All, and at one of them a record-industry scout introduced himself and set up an introduction for her with one of his friends, famed producer Dallas Austin. An executive of Atlantas Rowdy Records, Austins resume included work with Madonna and Boyz II Men. Though the Rowdy label later went under, Austin enjoyed an affiliation with Arista Records, one of the music industrys pop and rock giants. Monica began working with Austin on improving her voice and developing her songwriting skills, and at the age of 13 sang for Aristas legendary president, Clive Davis. Davis had been instrumental in charting the careers of Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton, and signed Monica to Arista.

Deflected Conservative Criticism

When her debut album Miss Thang was released in 1995, Monica was just 14 years old. The LP reached No. 7 on the Billboard R&B album charts, and she scored a No. 1 hit with the first single, Dont Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days), which featured a young woman telling her boyfriend she needed her space. The next single, Before You Walk Out of My Life, also reached No. 1 that same year, which earned Monica a spot in chart history as the youngest artist ever to have two hit singles. Why I Love You So Much, a third single from Miss Thang, was released in 1996.

Monica had co-written the songs with Austin over a two-year period when she was between the ages of 12 and 14. Given the all-knowing, heartache-laden themes of her vocals, Austin and Arista were criticized for burdening such a young talent with decidedly adult topics. But as Monica told Elysa Gardner in the Los Angeles Times, the songs reflected her own peer-group experiences and were collaborative efforts based on incidents in her life. People may wonder how I know about relationships, but I think the fact is that society is producing more adult teenagers. I would definitely say that a lot of my friends grew up faster. I mean, youre just a product of your environment, the singer said.

Outstanding Academic Achievement

Few teens, no matter how mature, could enjoy a single on the soundtrack of a Michael Jordan movie ( For You I Will, featured in the animated film Space Jam) at the same time she graduated from an exclusive private school a year ahead of schedule with a 4.0 grade-point average. Monica had accomplished this despite a heavy touring schedule since the 1995 release of Miss Thang; Atlanta Country Day School had provided a tutor who went with her on tour and allowed Monica to fit her classtime in according to her energy levelmeaning she was often hitting the books late at night after a performance. There really wasnt a tough subject, there were just tough times, the singer told Je t magazine about her accomplishment.

Still, Monica did face tough times in the press after her stellar debut. During the long hiatus between Miss Thang and The Boy Is Mine, released by Arista in 1998, her career was continually plagued by rumors that she and another teen R&B one-name star, Brandy (televisions Moesha), were intense rivals; the two had become singing stars around the same time and were nearly the same age. There were also rumors that Monica had had a child, which she adamantly denieda pregnancy that with her size 2 frame and touring schedule would have been difficult to conceal at some point.

In interviews Monica always stressed the close and positive relationship she enjoyed with her own mother. Furthermore, her singing career is managed by her cousin, Melissa Dancil. Her aunt is the proprietor of an Atlanta salon, but Monica has encountered far less hospitable receptions at other establishments. Im a young black woman, and I may walk into a certain area where the women are older and theyre housewives and they dont really relate to me and how I dress, Monica told Jancee Dunn in Rolling Stone. Its so oddyou see the difference on the days that I dress up and put on the jewelry that I own and the days that I put my hair in a ponytail and wear sweats. I walk into some jewelry stores, I cant get help. It always goes that way, she continued.

The Boy Is Mine

Like Miss Thang, The Boy Is Mine would earn its own place in R&B chart history. It gave Monica another platinum record for the creative collaboration with Austin; Rodney Jerkins and Jermaine Dupri were among some other notable names involved as songwriters or producers. The first hit single, however, came before the LP was even released: the extremely successful duet with Brandy, The Boy Is Mine. The song, which spent two months at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart in the summer of 1998, was an antagonistic vocal duel between two young women fighting over the same of two-timing heel. It was designed as a remake of sorts on the Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson hit The Girl Is Mine.

But rumors about the Monica-Brandy acrimony, that the song had ostensibly aimed to put to rest, only increased. The single was released in May, did very well, and then Brandy performed it by herself on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno; then, as Craig Seymour of the Village Voice chronicled, Monica fires off a statement to MTV that Brandys solo performance hurt our song. Meanwhile, Brandys off on the sneak recording a solo remix that is leaked to radio, only to be pulled because, according to a label source, contracts forbade altering the song in any way. At this point, Monica has had about enough and decides to name her whole album The Boy Is Mine.

Monicas second album enjoyed success equal to her debut and received positive reviews. Other singles from it also did well, such as The First Nightcelebrating a young womans refusal to acquiesce to sexas well as Angel of Mine and Street Symphony, a sadder teen lament about a girls attempt to halt her boyfriends forays into drug dealing; the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was brought in to back Monica on it in the studio.

Despite the success, the Monica-Brandy issue again arose after the 1998 MTV Music Awards, held in September of that year in Los Angeles. The pair performed the song for the first time live together, but rumors erupted that they had come to blows during rehearsals, and this was the reason for the great distance between them on stage during the number. A black eye and swollen lip were supposedly camouflaged by makeup and lighting. A joint press release denied the altercation, blaming unnamed persons for creating a media rift when none existed between the two. The statement maintained that the stars were on friendly terms. Such ongoing negativity is totally unfair to these two talented teenagers, both of whom are simply working hard to build successful careers in a very tough business, it concluded.

Monica turned eighteen shortly after the fracas and celebrated the occasion by moving into her own home. She also hoped to use some of her earnings to finance a college education, possibly in psychology or computer science, but she also dreamed about opening up her own hair salon. Im ecstatic about having accomplished all these goals when Im so young. Maybe that means Ill have an early retirement, or maybe it means my career will be an extremely long one, she theorized in the Los Angeles Times interview. I just try to stay focused on self-maintenance. So many of us, especially women, dont know ourselves; we let other people tell us what we need and want. So Im trying to get to know myself, and to give myself a chance. Thats all I can do, you know?

Selected discography

Miss Thang, Rowdy/Arista, 1995.

The Boy Is Mine, Arista, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, June 20, 1998, pp. 23, 28; October 3, 1998, p. 106.

Ebony, September 1998, pp. 84-86.

Jet, July 7, 1997, p. 23; October 5, 1998, pp. 39-40.

Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1998.

Newsweek, July 27, 1998.

People, August 3, 1998, pp. 63-65.

Rolling Stone, December 24, 1998, p. 87.

Vibe, October, 1998.

Village Voice, July 29, 1998.

Other

Additional information for this profile was provided by Arista Records publicity materials.

Carol Brennan

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Monica

Monica

Singer

The young chanteuse named Monica needed no last name to distinguish her, as word of her talent emerged in the music press during the mid-1990s. Her first recording, released when she was only 14 years old, sealed her reputation as a talented singing sensation. Despite her youth and the rapid rise of her career, Monica amazed the music world with the strength of her voice. Even as a young teenager she drew praise from critics, who compared her powerful voice to R&B legends such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Anita Baker.

With "Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)" in 1996, Monica became the youngest artist ever to top the Billboard R&B singles chart. Her first album, Miss Thang, appeared shortly after the hit single, and by the time she turned 16 the recording had gone double platinum. When she released her second album, The Boy Is Mine, in 1997, the title song was already a chart-topping hit. In the early 2000s, after enduring a sequence of personal problems, Monica successfully made the transition from teenage sensation to adult star.

Monica Arnold was in born in October of 1980 in College Park, Georgia. Her father, M.C. Arnold Jr., left the family when Monica was only four years old. Monica's mother, Marilyn, an airline employee, supported the family on her own until 1993, when she married the Rev. Edward Best. Monica first sang in her church choir as a very young child. Stories hold that she made her singing debut at age two when her mother, a member of the church choir, allowed the toddler to join the group.

At any rate, by the age of four, Monica was a bona fide member of the choir at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church in Newman, Georgia. Outside of church, Monica was too shy to perform in front of anyone, including her friends. Yet she was completely enamored of singing, and sang in her room, turning everyday objects into microphone props. She lived all of her young life in College Park until she was discovered as a preteen in a talent contest.

Monica was only ten years old when she first entered a talent contest, after years of singing in the choir and alone in her room. Two years later she took first prize in a contest, winning $1,000 for her rendition of the Whitney Houston hit "The Greatest Love of All." Her performance solicited a standing ovation from the crowd, including record producer Dallas Austin. An associate of superstar singers including Madonna and TLC, Austin was impressed when he heard the youngster. He signed Monica to a recording contract with Rowdy Records in 1992.

Monica's life assumed a whirlwind pace as she attended high school at Atlanta Country Day School and fulfilled her agreement under Austin's contract with Rowdy Records. Despite her extreme youth, Monica immediately began work on her Miss Thang album, which was two years in production. At 14 she completed her first chart-topping hit, "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)." She graduated from high school at age 16 with a solid 4.0 grade point average, despite the demands of her recording schedule, public appearances, and touring engagements. These included a ten-week concert tour in the spring and summer of 1996.

In October of 1997, after the demise of Rowdy Records, Monica signed with Arista Records. Her tall, striking appearance garnered her further work in modeling and acting assignments, all before she turned 17 years old. Along with her manager, rap singer Queen Latifah, Monica appeared on the Fox sitcom Living Single, as well as on the Tonight Show. She cultivated an image of tough glamor, acquiring (against medical advice) a set of diamond implants in her front teeth.

Monica's second album with Austin, 1998's The Boy Is Mine, held the number one spot on the Billboard charts for two months. The album included the hit single "The Boy Is Mine," a duet with fellow teenaged R&B star Brandy that debuted at number one and stayed there for six uninterrupted weeks. Hitmaker Rodney "Dark-child" Jerkins served as producer of the song, which was inspired by the earlier Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney collaboration "The Girl Is Mine." The two young singers performed the duet to a live audience for the first time at the 1998 MTV Awards in Los Angeles, amid rumors of an embittered rivalry between the superstars. The words of the duet, which imply that there is a love triangle going on between the two singers, were misconstrued by fans, who believed that the song told a personal story about Monica and Brandy. Although rumors persisted, both women asserted a sense of individual confidence and denied that there was anything other than mutual respect between the two.

After becoming famous, Monica continued to live with her mother and stepfather, her younger brother Montez, and her grandmother in College Park. In music, Monica found an escape from the painful circumstances surrounding her father's absence. She developed an extremely close bond with her mother, and in time developed an acute sensitivity to her mother's burden of raising five children alone. As word of Monica's fame spread, she reconciled with her father.

More personal trials were on the way, however, and they forced a temporary halt to the singer's career. First, while Monica was still basking in the glow of the Grammy Award for best R&B duo that she received (with Brandy) for "The Boy Is Mine," she received word that her 25-year-old cousin Selena Glenn had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Monica became romantically involved with a drug dealer, Jarvis Weems, and moved from the upscale Buckhead neighborhood in north Atlanta to the Leila Valley housing project. In 2000 Weems called Monica in a state of intense depression, and she arrived at his home just in time to see him shoot himself.

For the Record …

Born Monica Arnold, October 24, 1980, in College Park, GA; daughter of M.C. Arnold Jr. and Marilyn Best; children: Rodney Ramone Hill III. Education: Attended Atlanta Country Day School, Atlanta, GA.

Signed with Rowdy Records, 1992; hit singles include "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)," 1996, and "The Boy Is Mine" (with Brandy), 1997; released Miss Thang, 1995; contributed to Space Jam soundtrack; signed with Arista Records, 1997; released The Boy Is Mine (includes "Street Symphony" with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), 1998; signed to J label; released After the Storm, 2003; released The Makings of Me, 2006.

Awards: Grammy Award, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group (with Brandy), for "The Boy Is Mine," 1999.

Addresses: Record company—J Records, 745 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10051. Website—Monica Official Website: http://www.monica.com.

The resulting glare of publicity only made things worse. "Everywhere I went, people took my picture," Monica told Aliya S. King of Essence. "My only rest was on my knees and in my mother's arms." Then another boyfriend, rapper C-Murder (Corey Miller) was sentenced to life in prison on a murder charge. Slowly, after a period of time, Monica returned to work. She recorded an album called All Eyez on Me, whose title seemed to refer to her experiences in the media spotlight. The album was released in Japan, but the appetite for new Monica material in the United States was so strong that bootleg copies of the songs on the album began to circulate in great numbers. Monica returned to the studio to rework the music with the help of her friend Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, who served as executive producer.

When the new album appeared as After the Storm in 2003, it proved to be worth the wait. The album made its debut at number one on Billboard's chart of top-selling albums, thanks to collaborations with many of the top names of the day: singer Tyrese, rapper DMX, and rapper-composer Kanye West, among others. Things became more stable on the romantic front for Monica, as she and her boyfriend, label executive Rodney Hill, had a son, Rodney Ramone Hill III, in 2005. In 2006 Monica released her fourth album, The Makings of Me. A sample of Curtis Mayfield's hit "The Makings of You" on the song "A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)" was one of several touches that helped the album to another top ten Billboard appearance. Ryan Dombal of Entertainment Weekly called the album "a solid addition to her quietly consistent career," and Monica seemed to have surmounted the dangers of both teenage stardom and gangster life to become a steady presence on the pop and R&B charts.

Selected discography

Miss Thang, Rowdy, 1995.
"Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)," 1996.
(With Brandy) "The Boy Is Mine," 1997.
(Contributor) Space Jam (soundtrack), 1997.
The Boy Is Mine, Arista, 1998.
All Eyez on Me, J, 2002 (released only in Japan).
After the Storm, J, 2003.
The Makings of Me, J, 2006.

Sources

Books

Newsmakers, Issue 2, Gale, 2004.

Periodicals

Ebony, September 1998.

Entertainment Weekly, October 2006, p. 41.

Essence, October 1998, November 2006, p. 67.

Jet, October 5, 1998.

Newsweek, July 27, 1998.

Rolling Stone, December 24, 1998.

People, April 22, 1996; August 3, 1998.

Online

"Bio," Monica Official Website, http://www.monica.com (November 20, 2006).

"Monica," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (November 20, 2006).

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Monica

Monica

Singer

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The young chanteuse named Monica needed no last name to distinguish her, as word of her talent emerged in the music press during the mid-1990s. Her first recording, released when she was only 14 years old, sealed her reputation as a talented singing sensation. Despite her youth and the rapid rise of her career, Monica amazed the music world with the strength of her voice. Even as a young teen-ager she drew praise from critics, who compared her powerful voice to R&B legends such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Anita Baker.

With Dont Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days) in 1996 Monica became the youngest artist ever to top the Billboard R&B singles chart. Her first album, Miss Thang, appeared shortly after the hit single, and by the time she turned 16 the recording had gone double-platinum. When she released hersecond album, The Boy Is Mine, in 1997 the title song was already a chart-topping hit.

Monica Arnold was in born in College Park, Georgia in October of 1980. Her father, M.C. Arnold, Jr., left the family when Monica was only four years old. Monicas mother Marilyn, an airline employee, supported the family on her own until 1993 when she married the Reverend Edward Best. Monica first sang in her church choir when she was barely out of infancy. Stories hold that she made her singing debut at age two when her mother, a member of the church choir, allowed the toddler to join the group.

Most agree at any rate that by the age of fourMonica was a bona fide member of the choir at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church in Newman, Georgia. Outside of Church, Monica was too shy to perform in front of anyone, including her friends. Yet she was completely enamored of singing and turned everyday objectseven pencilsinto microphone props. She lived all of her young life in College Park until she was literally discovered as a pre-teen in a talent contest.

Monica was only ten years old when she first entered a talent contest, after years of singing in the choir and alone in her room. Two years later she took first prize in a contest, winning $1,000 for her rendition of the Whitney Houston hit, The Greatest Love of All. Her performance solicited a standing ovation from the crowd, including record producer Dallas Austin. An associate of superstar singers including Madonna and TLC, Austin was impressed when he heard the youngster. He signed Monica to a recording contract with Rowdy Records in 1992.

Her life assumed a whirlwind pace as she attended high school at Atlanta Country Day School and fulfilled her agreement under Austins contract with Rowdy Records. Despite her extreme youth Monica immediately began work on her Miss Thang album, which was two years in production. At 14 she completed her first chart-topping hit, Dont Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days). She graduated from high school at age 16 with a solid 4.0 grade point average, despite the demands of her recording schedule, public appearances, and touring engagements that included a ten-week concert tour in the spring and summer of 1996.

In October of 1997, after the demise of Rowdy Records, Monica signed with Arista Records. Her tall, striking appearance garnered herfurther work for modeling and acting assignmentsall before she turned 17 years old. Along with her manager, rap singer Queen Latifah, Monica appeared on the Fox sit-com Living Single, and she appeared on the Tonight Show, as well.

Monicas second album with Austin, 1998s The Boy Is Mine, held the number one spot on Billboards chart for two months. The album included the hit single The Boy Is Mine, a duet with fellow teenaged R&B star Brandy that debuted at number one and stayed there for six uninterrupted weeks. The two young singers performed the duet to a live audience for the fist time at the 1998 MTV Awards in Los Angeles amid rumors of an embittered rivalry between the superstars. The words of the duet, which imply that there is a love triangle going on

For the Record

Born Monica Arnold, October 1980, in College Park GA; daughter of M.C. Arnold, Jr. and Marilyn Best.

Signed with Rowdy Records, 1992; hit singles include Dont Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days), 1996, and The Boy Is Mine (with Brandy), 1997; released Miss Thang, 1995; contributed on Space Jam soundtrack; signed with Arista Records, 1997; released The Boy Is Mine (includes Street Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), 1998.

Addresses: Record company c/o Gwendolyn Quinn, Arista Records, Inc., 6 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

between the two singers, were misconstrued by eager fans who believed that the song told a personal story about Monica and Brandy. Although rumors persisted, both women asserted a sense of individual confidence and denied that there could be anything but mutual respect between the two.

After becoming famous, Monica continued to live with hermotherand stepfather, younger brother Montez, and her grandmother in College Park. In music, Monica found an escape from the painful circumstance of living life away from her father. She developed an extremely close bond with her mother, and in time developed acute sensitivity to her mothers burden of raising five children alone. As word of Monicas fame spread, she reconciled with her father.

Selected discography

Miss Thang, 1995.

Dont Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days), 1996.

(with Brandy) The Boy Is Mine, 1997.

(contributor) Space Jam (soundtrack), 1997.

The Boy Is Mine (includes Street Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), Arista, 1998.

Sources

Ebony, September 1998.

Essence, October 1998.

Jet, October 5, 1998.

Newsweek, July 27, 1998.

Rolling Stone, December 24, 1998.

People, April 22, 1996; August 3, 1998.

Gloria Cooksey

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Monica

MONICA

Born: Monica Arnold; Atlanta, Georgia, 24 October 1980

Genre: R&B, Pop

Best-selling album since 1990: The Boy Is Mine (1998)

Hit songs since 1990: "The Boy Is Mine," "Don't Take It Personal"


Monica's appealing vocals and youthful presence helped make her one of the most exciting rhythm and blues stars of the late 1990s. Like her teenaged contemporary Brandy, Monica is equally convincing on up-tempo dance tracks and winsome ballads, working with a series of hot producers to capture a mature, up-to-date sound. Although the two singers performed as a duet on one of the biggest pop hits of the 1990s, "The Boy Is Mine," Monica has not enjoyed Brandy's commercial consistency, due in large part to the long time span between her album releases. This situation belies the extent of Monica's talentshe possesses a fuller, more powerful voice than Brandy, and her best performances are marked by genuine vocal technique recalling her years as a child gospel singer.

Raised in a suburb of Atlanta, Monica was singing professionally by the age of ten, performing with the gospel group Charles Thompson and the Majestics. During a talent show performance at age twelve, Monica impressed producer and record executive Dallas Austin with her version of pop star Whitney Houston's hit 1980s ballad, "The Greatest Love of All." Signing Monica to Arista Records, Austin took several years to craft her debut album, Miss Thang (1995). Only fourteen years old at the time of its release, Monica sounded mature and assured, tackling the tough hip-hop grooves of the hit "Don't Take It Personal" with conviction. On an updated version of soul singer Latimore's 1970s hit, "Let's Straighten It Out," Monica and fellow teen pop star Usher trade vocal lines in soulful collaboration. Singing well-timed cries of "Whoa . . . yeah," Monica invests the song with an edge of gospel-styled immediacy.

Although Monica's second album, The Boy Is Mine, did not appear until 1998, it became her biggest success on the basis of the smash title song and the seductive hit, "The First Night." Like the late-1990s work of female R&B group Destiny's Child, "The First Night" is underscored by an abiding sense of self-respect, as Monica tells a prospective boyfriend, "I should make a move but I won't . . . I don't get down on the first night." On the pop-influenced ballad, "Inside," Monica suggests the extent of her vocal abilities, handling key changes with ease and emphasizing lyrics with precision and tenderness. Unlike many contemporary R&B performers who sing off-key, Monica approaches her songs with an assured sense of pitch and timing. After the release of The Boy Is Mine, Monica took time off "to relax and enjoy my life," as she explained on her website. In 2003 she revealed that her hiatus was also a result of the death of her boyfriend, who shot and killed himself while in her presence in 1999.

Monica's third album, All Eyez on Me, was scheduled for release in 2002 but was cancelled due to Internet piracy. The album, re-titled After the Storm, was finally released in 2003 and earned immediate radio exposure through the catchy single, "So Long."

In the late 1990s, Monica's impressive vocal ability and engaging recordings fully justified her star status. Unlike other young singers of her generation, who survive more on looks than talent, Monica possesses true depth and range. Her 1990s recordings will endure as fine examples of tough, modern R&B.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Miss Thang (Arista, 1995); The Boy Is Mine (Arista, 1998); After the Storm (J-Records, 2003).

WEBSITE:

www.monica.com.

david freeland

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Monica

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"Monica." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Monica." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/monica