Born & Raised:
Full name: Monica Brown.
Born: Monica Denise Arnold, on Oct. 24, 1980 in Oak Park, Georgia. Raised in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Monica's father is named M.C. Arnold Jr. and her mother is Marilyn Best. She has a younger brother named Montez and two half-brothers on her mother's side of the family. Her parents legally divorced in 1987 but had been separated for about three years before that. Monica grew up singing in church, and at the age of 10 had joined a traveling Gospel choir. Two years later, in 1992, Monica was discovered by Atlanta-based music producer Dallas Austin and he signed her to his Rowdy Records label. Her debut album, called Miss Thang, was released in July 1995.
Straight 'A' Student:
Due to many strong singles, including the smash hit "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)," Miss Thang was very successful sales-wise and eventually went on to sell over three million copies. During the time her debut album was riding high on the charts, Monica was finishing up her education. In 1996, at age 16, she graduated from high school, reportedly with a grade point average of 4.0. Over the course of the next year, rumors emerged that Monica was feuding with another young, highly-popular female singer - Brandy. Monica and Brandy both denied the rumors.
"The Boy Is Mine":
In 1998, Monica's second album, The Boy is Mine was released. The title track was a duet with Brandy, with the premise of the song being that the two were fighting over a guy. The singers acknowledged that song was meant as a way to further deny - and poke fun at - rumors that they didn't get along. The song was a massive hit and to date remains one of the 20 most successful singles in Billboard chart history. Over the next few years, Monica took time off from singing to explore other ventures, such as acting. But by 2002, Monica had finished recording her third album, All Eyez on Me.
"All Eyez on Me" Becomes "After the Storm":
Due to lackluster reaction to the first two singles (including the title track), plus heavy bootlegging, All Eyez on Me was released exclusively in Japan and not in the United States or anywhere else in the rest of the world. However, Monica went back into the studio and recorded more material for the album, and it was eventually revamped and released in the U.S. and abroad as After the Storm. The album included both new material as well as some salvaged songs that appeared on All Eyez on Me. To date, After the Storm has sold over a million copies in the U.S.
In July 2006, Monica's fourth U.S. album, The Makings of Me was released. Despite good reviews (including one here on About.com), the album been her least commercially-successful album so far. To revive her career, she starred in the unscripted reality show "Monica: Still Standing," which aired on BET in late 2009 and early 2010. The show was the prelude to her fifth U.S. album, Still Standing, which was released in March 2010.
Engagement & Marriage:
Monica became engaged to NBA player Shannon Brown in October 2010. They first met in June 2010 when he played the love interest in the video for her hit song "Love All Over Me." In the video, Monica wears the jersey of Brown, who at the time, played the guard position for the Los Angeles Lakers. The couple secretly married in Los Angeles in November 2010, about five weeks after becoming engaged. Several months later, they held a second wedding ceremony for the benefit of friends and family.
2012: New Life
2010: Still Standing
2006: The Makings of Me
2003: After the Storm
2002: All Eyez on Me
1998: The Boy is Mine
1995: Miss Thang
*Released in Japan only.