Monica (singer)

Monica (singer)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Monica

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Monica Denise Arnold
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1980|10|24
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Origin =
Genre = R&B, hip hop soul, pop
Occupation = Singer, songwriter, actress
Years_active = 1995–present
Label = Rowdy (1993–1997)
Arista (1998-2000)
J (2001–present)
Associated_acts = Dallas Austin, Brandy, Ciara, C-Murder, Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliott, Young Buck, Rocko, Usher, Mia X
URL = []

Monica Denise Arnold (born October 24 1980),cite web |url=|title=Monica on MSN|author=John Bush|accessdate=2008-07-18 |date=2008 |publisher=MSN ] professionally known as Monica, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. She debuted in 1995 under the guidance of Rowdy Records head Dallas Austin and became the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the U.S. "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Following a major success with "The Boy Is Mine," a duet with singer Brandy, in 1998, a series of hit records established her position as one of the most successful of the new breed of urban R&B female vocalists to emerge in the mid-to late 1990s.

Her popularity was in decline between the early 2000s, during which time she dealt with more personal tribulations including the suicide of her boyfriend Jarvis "Knot" Weems, an up-and-down relationship with former fiancé Corey "C-Murder" Miller and the delay of her heavily-bootlegged third album, "All Eyez on Me". In 2003 Monica eventually released "After the Storm", and after an unsuccessful period, she returned to the forefront of R&B music with her sixth number-one hit "So Gone."

After giving birth to her first child, Rodney Ramone Hill III, in May 2005, and another short hiatus, Monica released her fourth studio album, "The Makings of Me" in October 2006. While maintaining a recording career Arnold has also gained fame for appearing in several film and television productions, including supporting roles in big screen motion pictures "Boys and Girls" (2000) and "ATL" (2006) and a starring role in the MTV Films telefilm "Love Song" (2000).


Early life

Arnold was born in College Park, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the eldest child of Marilyn Best, a former church singer and Delta Air Lines customer service representative, and M.C. Arnold Jr., a mechanic, working for an Atlanta freight company. [Craig Seymour. [ Monica - Pain Is Love] . "". January 27, 2002. Retrieved December 16, 2006. ] She has one brother named Montez (born 1983), and two maternal half-brothers, Tron and Cypress. Arnold is also a cousin-in-law of Atlanta rapper Christopher Brian Bridges, better known as Ludacris. [Kelly Starling. [ Monica on Growing Up] . "Ebony Magazine". August 2000. Retrieved December 16, 2006.]

At the age of two Arnold followed her mother's reputation with regular performances in public at the Jones Chapel United Methodist Church. While growing up in the modest circumstances of a single-parent home, after her parents' separation in 1984 and their divorce in 1987, Monica continued training herself in singing. She became the youngest member of Charles Thompson and the Majestics, a traveling 12-piece gospel choir, by the time she was 10. [ [ Monica: Biography] . "". Retrieved December 16, 2006.] Monica also became a frequent talent show contestant, winning over 20 local singing competitions throughout her early teenage years.

1991—1997: Career beginnings

In 1991, at the age of eleven, Arnold was discovered by music producer Dallas Austin at the Center Stage auditorium in Atlanta. Amazed by her voice, Dallas offered her a record deal with his Arista-distributed label Rowdy Records and immediately hired rapper and actress Queen Latifah as Monica's first manager. Shortly afterwards Dallas and Arnold entered the studio to start writing and producing her debut "Miss Thang". [ [ "Miss Thang" by Monica] . "" Retrieved December 19, 2006.]

After years of recording Monica's debut album, co-produced by Daryl Simmons, Tim & Bob and Soulshock & Karlin, was released to mixed reviews on July 18, 1995. While the longplayer debuted at a moderately successful 36 on the U.S.'s "Billboard" 200 chart only, "Miss Thang" soon became a triple platinum success thanks to constant sales and the success of its singles: Pre-released "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)" and double-A-single "Before You Walk out of My Life/Like This and Like That" both entered the top 10 of the official Hot 100 and simultaneously became platinum certified number-one hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making Monica the youngest artist ever to have two consecutive chart-topping hits on latter chart.

A second double-A-side single (and top 10 single), "Why I Love You So Much/Ain't Nobody", the latter being an appearance on "The Nutty Professor", soundtrack maintained Monica's popularity in music and on music video channels through 1996 - the same year she went on tour with R&B and hip hop groups TLC and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

1998—2000: Worldwide popularity

After graduating high school at age 16 with a 4.0 GPA in 1997 and a label change to Clive Davis's Arista Records, Arnold's mainstream success was boosted, when Diane Warren-written "For You I Will," from the "Space Jam" movie soundtrack, became her next top 10 pop hit.

The following year she was asked to team up with singer Brandy and producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins to record "The Boy Is Mine", the first single off of both of their second albums. Released in May 1998 surrounding highly publicized rumors about a real-life catfight between both singers,cite web|title="Monica Bio"||url=|accessdate=2007-06-02] the duet became both the biggest hit of the summer and the biggest hit of 1998 in general in America,cite web|title=RIAA|work=|url=|accessdate=2007-06-02] 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 twenty most successful American singles in history based on "Billboard" chart success).cite web|title=RIAA|work=|url=|accessdate=2007-06-02]

Jermaine Dupri, David Foster and Austin consulted on the album "The Boy Is Mine", which was released later that year and became Monica's most successful worldwide. It yielded another two U.S. number-one hits with "The First Night" and "Angel of Mine," a cover of Eternal's 1997 single, as well as a remake of Richard Marx' "Right Here Waiting". "Rolling Stone Magazine" proclaimed it as "closer to soul's source ... hearking back past hip-hop songbirds like Mary J. Blige and adult-contemporary sirens like Toni Braxton",cite web|title="The Boy Is Mine" album review|work=Rolling Stone|url=|accessdate=2007-06-02] while "Allmusic" called the album an "irresistible sounding [and] immaculately crafted musical backdrop [...] as good as mainstream urban R&B gets in 1998."cite web|title="The Boy Is Mine" album review|work=Allmusic|url=|accessdate=2007-06-02]

After the album's final single release Arnold primarily focused on recording soundtracks. In 2000 she contributed chorus vocals for "I've Got to Have It", a collaboration with Jermaine Dupri and rapper Nas which sampled Peter Gabriel's 1986 number-one hit "Sledgehammer." Released as the "Big Momma's House"' theme song, the song saw minor success in the United States only. A year later Monica released "Just Another Girl", a song she had recorded for the "Down to Earth" soundtrack. The single fared better, but failed to reach the top 50 of the U.S. Hot 100.

Monica also started appearing in films and showed interest in acting. She starred in "Love Song" and was featured on "Boys and Girls" in 2000.

2001—2004: "All Eyez on Me" and "After the Storm"

Monica's career saw troubles between the years 2001 and 2003, during which time she dealt with more personal tribulations including an up-and-down relationship with former fiancé Corey "C-Murder" Miller and the suicide of her boyfriend Jarvis "Knot" Weems, a local drug dealercite web|author=Nekesa Mumbi Moody|date=2003-06-27|title="Monica triumphs over tragedy "After the Storm"|work=Enquirer|url=|accessdate=2007-06-01] and youth friend of Arnold. On July 18, 2000, the pair were together at the graveside of Weems's brother Troy, who had died in an automobile accident at age 25 in 1998, when Weems, without warning, put a gun to his head and shot himself to death. Devastated, Monica spent the first few months after his death in denial and depression, later lessened by spiritual guidance from her parents. "Afterward, I felt, 'What else could I have done?' You replay that situation over and over and you switch it around: Maybe if I had said this, or if I would have done that,'" she said in an interview with the "Enquirer" the following year. "It's just something that it's never possible for me to go back and change."

Arnold channeled much of her heavily media-discussed experiences into the production of her third studio album, "All Eyez on Me", her first release on mentor Clive Davis newly-founded J Records label. "I just wanted to give the people back something that had personal passion, instead of just, 'Oh, let's dance to this record,'" she said about the issues worked into the tracks. Yet the first single released from the project was "All Eyez on Me," a Rodney Jerkins-produced R&B-dance song which saw minor to moderate success on the charts. A follow-up song, "Too Hood," also got a lukewarm response and as a result, the album's tentative release was pushed back several times. "I don't think people wanted to hear a big fun record from me, after knowing all the things that I had personally experienced," Monica second-guessed her new material which saw both early and heavy bootlegging via internet at that time. After the Japan-wide release of "All Eyez on Me" Monica was asked to substantially reconstruct the record with a host of new producers, and as a result the singer re-entered recording studios to start work with songwriters Kanye West, Jazze Pha, Andre "mrDEYO" Deyo, Bam & Ryan and Dupri-relapcing executive producer Missy Elliott. [cite web|author=Jon Wiederhorn|date=2003-03-31|title="Missy, DMX, Tyrese To Give Monica's New LP Extra Oomph"|work=MTV News|url=|accessdate=2006-02-10] Finally released on June 17, 2003, the album debuted at number two on "Billboard"`s Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and on top of the official "Billboard" 200, with sales of 186,000 copies emerging as Monica's first and only number-one album to date. "After the Storm" eventually received a gold certification for more than 500,000 copies shipped to stores, and has sold about one million copies domestically. [cite web|title="Ask Billboard"||url=|accessdate=2006-02-10] Media reception of the CD was generally enthusiastic, with the "Allmusic" saying the album "has all the assuredness and smart developments that should keep Monica's younger longtime followers behind her — all the while holding the ability to appeal to a wider spectrum of R&B and hip-hop fans." [cite web|author=Andy Kellman|title="After the Storm" review|work=Allmusic|url=|accessdate=2007-05-31] The album's lead single, "So Gone", was one of Monica's biggest commercial successes in years, becoming her first top 10 single since 1999's "Angel of Mine"; it also reached the top position of the "Billboard" R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks and Hot Dance Club Play charts. [cite web|title="Gone Good to Go"|date=2003-06-20|work=Billboard|url=|accessdate=2008-07-31]

2005—2007: "The Makings of Me"

Having previously refreshed her on and off-going relationship with rapper and Rowdy Records co-founder Rodney "Rocko" Hill, Jr., whom she had actually dated since the age of 19, the couple welcomed a son into the world on May 21, 2005. Nicknamed Lil Rocko, the child was officially named Rodney Ramone Hill III, after his father.cite web|author=Necole Bitchie|url=|title=Monica Speaks on Life, Love and Reality shows|date=2008-08-08|accessdate=2008-08-10]

Returning from yet another musical hiatus, Monica's fourth studio album "The Makings of Me" was released on October 3, 2006 in the United States. Titled after Curtis Mayfield's song "The Makings of You," the ten tracks short album saw her particularly reuniting with Elliott, Dupri, and Bryan Michael Cox. Arnold described the album her most mature and versatile effort to date: "This album is very, very different from the other ones, because of me personally," she said to "MTV News". "Now, at 26, the way I look at things, even relationships, I was really able to involve more of my life experiences in the album."cite web|title="Monica Overcomes Pregnancy Rumors, Ex-Boyfriend's Suicide To Form "Makings Of Me"|work=MTV News|url= |accessdate=2007-05-28] "The Makings of Me" received a positive reception from most professional music critics, with "Allmusic" calling it a "concise and mostly sweet set of songs"cite web|author=Andy Kellman|title="The Makings of Me" review|work=Allmusic|url= |accessdate=2007-05-28] and "Entertainment Weekly" declaring it "a solid addition" to Monica's discography, widely comparing it to 2003 "After the Storm" due to its "excellent songwriting and song production."cite web|author=Ryan Dombal|date=2008-09-29|title="The Makings of Me" review|work=Entertainment Weekly|url=,,1540569,00.html|accessdate=2007-05-28] ""’s Mark Edward Nero however, cited a "lack of emotion" in Monica's powerful voice, also criticising the shortness of the album.cite web|author=Mark Edward Nero|title="The Makings of Me" review||url= |accessdate=2007-05-28] One week after its release, "The Makings of Me" debuted at number one on "Billboard"'s Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and at number 8 on the official "Billboard" 200, with moderately successful first week sales of 92,935 copies; so far the album has sold 270,000 copies domestically,cite web|title=Ask "Billboard"|work=Billboard|url=|accessdate=2007-03-04] making it Monica's lowest selling album to date. Singles such as "Everytime tha Beat Drop" failed on the pop and R&B charts.

Current activities

Arnold and Hill became officially engaged on Christmas Eve 2007. On January 8, 2008, the singer gave birth to her second child, a son named Romello Montez on January 8, 2008, who was named after Monica's younger brother. [cite web|title=Monica welcomes second son|work=EURweb|url=|accessdate=2008-01-09]

In October 2007 Monica renewed her contract with J Records.cite web|title="JD signs Monica's fiancé Rocko to Island Urban"|work=SandraRose|url=|accessdate=2007-11-23] For now, she is writing and putting songs together for her fifth studio album, entitled " in hopes to find a new single.

In addition, Monica is also taking on the fashion industry by designing a high-end line of boys clothing called "Regions of Rock". She describes the gear as an "urban rock" line of clothing for infants to kids up to size 20.cite web|title="Exclusive: Monice 'Still Standing' (Part II)"|work=Straight From The A|url=|accessdate=2008-08-06]


*1995: "Miss Thang"
*1998: "The Boy Is Mine"
*2002: "All Eyez On Me"
*2003: "After the Storm"
*2006: "The Makings of Me"



*"Boys and Girls" (2000) - Katie
*"ATL" (2006) - Waffle House Waitress


*"Living Single" (1 episode, 1996) - Marissa
*"New York Undercover" (1 episode, 1996) - Herself
*"Beverly Hills, 90210" (2 episodes, 1997-1999) - Herself
*"Love Song" (2000) - Camille Livingston
*"Felicity" (1 episode, 2001) - Sarah Robinson
*"American Dreams" (1 episode, 2003) - Mary Wells


ee also

*List of number-one hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart


External links

* [] Official website
* [ Monica] at MySpace
*imdb name|id=0036571|name=Monica
* [ Monica] at Allmusic

ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Arnold, Monica Denise
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Singer, songwriter, actress
DATE OF BIRTH= October 24, 1980
PLACE OF BIRTH=College Park, Georgia

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