R&B sensation Monica Denise Arnold was raised in the blue-collar College Park suburb of Atlanta, Georgia by her mother Marilyn, an amateur singer and airline representative - her father (distantly related to rapper Ludacris) left the family early in her life. A naturally talented singer, Monica's mom encouraged her to sing at church and at local fairs and talent shoes; as a result, she became a touring member of the regionally renowned gospel choir Charles Thompson and the Majestics by the time she was 10.She was discovered while touring with The Majestics by notable record producer Dallas Austin, who quickly signed the eleven year old young singer to his Arista-backed label Rowdy Records (TLC, Boyz II Men) in 1991. Setting up Queen Latifah to act as her manager and mentor, Monica spent four years in the studio recording her debut album, Miss Thang, which eventually saw release in mid-1995. An incredibly successful debut, Miss Thang earned a Triple-Platinum certification from the RIAA, selling over 3,000,000 copies based on the success of singles like "Don't Take It Personal" and "Like This and Like That". In the wake of Miss Thang Monica graduated early from high school to focus on her singing career, moving to Rowdy's parent label Arista Records. Working hard in the studio with producers Darkchild and Jermaine Dupri throughout 1997, Monica released her sophomore album The Boy Is Mine on Arista in 1998. Her most successful album to date, The Boy Is Mine went on to produce six singles and sell over 4 million copies worldwide. Notable tracks from the album include "Street Symphony", "The First Night", and "Angel of Mine", a duet with R&B songstress Brandy. Following the departure of head exec Clive Davis from Arista in 2001, Monica left Arista to join Clive's newfound label J Records (Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood). Her third album, 2002's All Eyez on Me, did not sell as well as her earlier releases, partially because release versions were being widely circulated on file-sharing networks like Napster - a problem that, while commonplace today, was new to the record industry at the time. As a result the album was heavily re-recorded and re-released by J in 2003 as After the Storm. A modest success, After the Storm sold well over a million copies due to the popularity of singles like "U Should've Known Better" and "Knock Knock". After releasing her critically acclaimed but commercially lackluster fourth album The Makings of Me ("Everytime tha Beat Drop", "A Dozen Roses") in 2006, Monica returned to the studio in late 2007 (after appearing in the T.I.-produced major motion picture ATL) to begin recording her fifth album, Lessons Learned, which is set to drop on J Records sometime in 2008. Monica has begun collaborating with a more diverse set of producers for her latest effort, naming Missy Elliott and Babyface as major contributors.
Monica Denise Arnold (born October 24, 1980), professionally known as Monica, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Arnold was a member of Charles Thompson and the Majestics, a traveling 12-piece gospel choir prior to signing a solo recording contract with Arista Records in 1995. In 1991, at the age of eleven, Monica was discovered by music producer Dallas Austin at the Center Stage auditorium in Atlanta performing Whitney Houston 1986's Greatest Love of All.
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