5 Questions With ... Monica

GRAMMY-winning artist visits The Recording Academy
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
April 15, 2011 -- 9:46 am PDT

GRAMMY-winning R&B artist Monica recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., for an installment of 5 Questions With … . The singer discussed the importance of music education, mentoring, her favorite GRAMMY moment, social networking, and the importance of being an Academy member.

"I came not expecting to win at all," said Monica of her GRAMMY win in 1998 for "The Boy Is Mine." "I was honored in my heart to be nominated. Winning never crossed my mind. I had never won any award in any form. [I] was just simply surprised, and looking back at the moment, just excited."

Monica was born Monica Denise Arnold in Atlanta. As a young girl she performed in local churches and talent show contests, and by the age of 10 she joined the traveling gospel choir Charles Thompson And The Majestics. At age 11 she was discovered by producer Dallas Austin, who offered a record deal with Rowdy Records. In 1995 Monica released her debut album, Miss Thang, which spawned the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits "Before You Walk Out Of My Life," "Why I Love You So Much" and "Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)." Her sophomore album, The Boy Is Mine, was released in 1998 and yielded two No. 1 hits, "The First Night" and "Angel Of Mine." The album's title track featured a duet with Brandy and earned them each a GRAMMY for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals. Monica received two GRAMMY nominations in 2010, including a nod for Best R&B Album for Still Standing. She is currently working on her latest album, New Life, which is tentatively scheduled for release later this year.

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