Monica Denise Arnold (formerly Brown; born October 24, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Born and raised in College Park, Georgia, she began performing as a child and became part of a traveling gospel choir at the age of ten. Monica rose to prominence after she signed with Rowdy Records in 1993 and released her debut album Miss Thang two years later. She followed it with a series of successful albums, including the global bestseller The Boy Is Mine (1998) as well as the number-one albums After the Storm (2003), The Makings of Me (2006) and Still Standing (2010). Throughout her career, several of Monica's singles became number-one hits on the pop and R&B record charts, including "Before You Walk Out of My Life", "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)", "Like This and Like That", "The Boy Is Mine", "The First Night", "Angel of Mine", "So Gone", and "Everything to Me".
Monica's popularity was further enhanced by her roles in television series such as Living Single (1996), Felicity (2001), and American Dreams (2003), and films including Boys and Girls (2000), Love Song (2000), and Pastor Brown (2009). A contributor to the NBC talent show The Voice, in 2008, she appeared in the Peachtree TV reality show special Monica: The Single which tracked the recording of the song "Still Standing" along with her personal life and resulted in her own highly rated BET series Monica: Still Standing, containing a similar concept. Separated from rapper Rodney "Rocko" Hill, father of her first two children, Monica married professional basketball player Shannon Brown in November 2010. Their first child together, a daughter, was born in 2013.Monica has sold 5.3 million albums in the United States and she is recognized as one of the most successful urban R&B female vocalists to emerge in the mid to late 1990s. According to Billboard, she is the youngest recording act to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart, as well as the first artist to top the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart over the span of three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s). In 2010, Billboard listed Monica at number 24 on its list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years. A four-time nominee, she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Boy Is Mine" at the 41st awards ceremony and has been the recipient of one Billboard Music Award, one BET Award, and two BMI Pop Awards.