Did Someone Say Brandy and Monica?!
Words cannot express how we truly feel about the 90s and most importantly, R&B. The fashion, the hair-dos, the hair-don’ts, the smell, not to mention the music artists that gave us what we know as the 90s today, which brings us to our next point: Brandy and Monica!
Yes, we had to just put it out there, because this last Verzuz battle has the streets on opposites sides of the fence like we were when these ladies first hit the scene.
In 1993, Brandy Norwood was signed to Atlantic records and released her self-titled album, Brandy. This album sold over six million copies worldwide. With “I Wanna Be Down” and “Baby” topping charts, she was flying high in the limelight already. Simultaneously, Monica Arnold signed that same year to Rowdy records and released her album, Miss Thang, two years later.
Her album hit triple platinum with “Before You Walk Out of My Life” and “Don’t Take It Personal” as her hit singles, selling over three million copies. Talk about the sound of true, young R&B soul. These voices hit the airwaves and we could not get enough of either of them. At the ages of 12, Monica and 13, Brandy, the two singers blasted into success and never looked back.
Norwood’s talents led her to doors where she would study under the direction of some of music’s iconic legends such as Babyface, Whitney Houston, and Quincy Jones just to name a few. Arnold initially started her career with Dallas Austin under the management of Queen Latifah. With such major influences in the game in their corners, these ladies were sure to hit the top of their game early.
In the following years after Norwood’s album she landed the starring role of Moesha in 1996 with music and theme music all sung by her. After a while Brandy was known as Moesha to everyone. The sitcom ran for six season and was cancelled with a cliffhanger ending. Arnold had her own ventures for the big screen. After her label change to Arista Records with Clive Davis, she recorded the song “For You I Will” for the movie Space Jam. Following the hit, her success boosted tremendously. The two were thriving in the music industry.
Now here’s where Norwood and Arnold became what we know today as Brandy and Monica. Because of the young women coming out in the industry around the same time, they were often compared in style and voice. We know that they are different but at the time their music was just what young girls needed. Brandy and Monica teamed up for Norwood’s “The Boy Is Mine”.
From then on, the song forever surrounded their on and offstage differences. This song was the biggest hit of the summer and America in 1998. They were set to tour together but because of the rumors surrounding this relationship, Norwood stated that they were young at the time and took on those differences. The two had many disagreements and sadly we did not get that tour out of them. We still have hope! Fingers crossed, funky fans.
After the success of “The Boy Is Mine,” Norwood and Arnold released several successful albums. In the 2000s, Arnold release All Eyez on Me and After the Storm. Of the two albums After the Storm was the successor to her previous “Angel of Mine” days. Norwood was just as business in her career. After her role in Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, she recorded Never Say Never which sold over 16 million copies worldwide.
Norwood had her hands full with her career on the big screen and her voice shooting through the airwaves. Norwood released Full Moon in 2002 and was just as successful as the albums before. She reached top 20 hits in both the U.K. and U.S. The transformation in music for these ladies was amazing to watch. We’ve seen them and their music go from teenage to young adult and we love every moment of it. Their voices and talents carried them far on their paths and they’ve been unstoppable.
So, recently we all had the opportunity to see Norwood and Arnold put their differences to the side and give the world what we have all been waiting for. This past week, August 31st to be exact, on the Verzuz battle, we were able to see Brandy and Monica give us the best of the best out of their 20 plus year careers and though the tension was a bit high we loved every minute of it.
Hit for hit, they gave us the 90s and we all lived in the moment as if we were back in school. The artists played their songs for three hours with a two-minute break. Reflecting on the night there were songs we all forgot about but as soon as they played them, we knew every word to the songs. This live stream captivated over 3 million fans, the new record-breaking Instagram live stream count. Luckily, we didn’t break the internet during this monumental moment.
Sense the battle, both Norwood and Arnold have collectively received 20 million streams in music including old and new music released. Be sure you guys check out Monica’s new song “Trenches” and Brandy’s new album, B7.
Brandy and Monica have magnificent careers and with their new releases they show no sign of stopping any time soon. We could go on and on about the dynamic careers of Brandy and Monica, but we will let you all do the digging or better yet, watch them tell it all on Verzuz.
If anyone is looking to watch the shade… We mean the battle, it can be found on Youtube. Stay tuned for more updates on the Verzuz battles and check out our articles of the month. Please subscribe below for our monthly newsletters to keep our funky fans up-to-date with the oldest and latest in our soulful worlds.