“Angel of Mine” singer Monica is not afraid to shout out her contemporaries. The gifted R&B vocalist has been beloved for years for her golden pipes, but when it comes to her sisters in soul, Monica has no issue giving props. The Atlanta star recently got on an IG live to express her love for the women she feels are doing it in the genre right now and let people know that there is room for them all.
Monica comes from a highly competitive era of music. The early ’90s was a time when teen magazines and music video countdowns would pin some of the best in the game against each other to the delight of fans. This included friendly competitions between Aaliyah, Mya, Destiny’s Child, TLC, and more.
Monica was engaged in one of the most iconic popularity contests of the time following the success of her Grammy-winning #1 single “The Boy is Mine” with Brandy. The song played up a rivalry between the two young ladies over a boy (played by Mekhi Phifer in the video). Unfortunately, it became very real for the ladies as rumors of jealousy and fighting followed them for years. Things reportedly came to blows right before they hit the VMA stage in 1998 to perform their hit record, with Monica punching Brandy over a misunderstanding. The ladies would go on to reconcile decades later, doing another duet (“It All Belongs to Me”) and participating in Verzuz.
Understandably when coming from that type of past, Monica just wants to spread love now. While discussing some of the risks she took as a young vocalist on records like “For You I Will” from the Space Jam Soundtrack, Monica confessed that there are singers who can sing circles around her including Jazmine Sullivan, Summer Walker and Fantasia. However, Monica says she doesn’t care, “I’m saluting them.” She then shouts out Jazmine Sullivan, a singer she says she could watch sing all day and really admires. Monica and Jazmine share a history; Jazmine was the writer and demo vocalist for Monica’s comeback single “Everything to Me” back in 2010.
Monica also mentions American Idol winner Fantasia as well, who, like Monica, broke barriers for being a “hood girl” singing pop records. The ladies actually share an unreleased record from 2010 called “No Stoppin,” produced by Missy Elliot. The song was rumored to be a single for each lady at one point before it got scrapped completely. The production is in the same vein as Missy and Keyshia Cole’s “Let It Go.” Keyshia and Monica also share a duet called “Trust.” Monica then goes on to shout out her Atlanta sister Summer Walker. If anyone has taken the “hood girl” aesthetic to new heights, it has been Walker. She has two of the biggest first-week sales of any female artist since Beyonce’s Lemonade.
For Monica, these women are all superstars and motivations to her. She feels that there is room for all women and finds inspiration in their talent and success. “I love seeing women that can go!” she said about her favorite singers. “When I tell you I love these girls, these women, on another level. I love these women on a completely different level. It motivates me.” She goes on to tell her fans to stay encouraged and stay focused. “You are capable of anything you put your mind to.”