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Monica Arnold

Real name: Monica Denise Arnold
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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After giving birth to her first child, Rodney Ramone Hill III, in May 2005, and another short hiatus, Monica released her fourth studio album, The Makings of Me in October 2006. While maintaining a recording career Arnold has also gained fame for appearing in several film and television productions, including supporting roles in big screen motion pictures Boys and Girls (2000) and ATL (2006) and a starring role in the MTV Films telefilm Love Song (2000).

In 1991, at the age of eleven, Arnold was discovered by music producer Dallas Austin at the Center Stage auditorium in Atlanta. Amazed by her voice, Dallas offered her a record deal with his Arista-distributed label Rowdy Records and immediately hired rapper and actress Queen Latifah as Monica's first manager. Shortly afterwards Dallas and Arnold entered the studio to start writing and producing her debut Miss Thang.

After the album's final single release Arnold primarily focused on recording soundtracks. In 2000 she contributed chorus vocals for "I've Got To Have It", a collaboration with Jermaine Dupri and rapper Nas which sampled Peter Gabriel's 1986 number-one hit "Sledgehammer." Released as the Big Momma's House' theme song, the song saw minor success in the United States only. A year later Monica released "Just Another Girl", a song she had recorded for the Down to Earth soundtrack. The single fared better, but failed to reach the top 50 of the U.S. Hot 100.

Returning from yet another musical hiatus, Monica's fourth studio album The Makings of Me was released on October 3, 2006 in the United States. Named after Curtis Mayfield's song "The Makings of You," the ten tracks short album saw her particularly reuniting with Elliott, Dupri, and Bryan Michael Cox. Arnold described the CD as her most mature and versatile effort to date: "This album is very, very different from the other ones, because of me personally," she said to MTV News. "Now, at 26, the way I look at things, even relationships, I was really able to involve more of my life experiences in the album." The Makings of Me received a positive reception from most professional music critics, with All Music Guide calling it a "concise and mostly sweet (if occasionally unremarkable) set of songs" and Entertainment Weekly declaring it "a solid addition" to Monica's discography, widely comparing it to 2003 After the Storm due to its "excellent songwriting and song production." About.com’s Mark Edward Nero however, cited a "lack of emotion" in Monica's powerful voice, also criticising the relative shortness of the album. One week after its release, The Makings of Me debuted at number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart, and at number 8 on the official Billboard 200, with moderately successful first week sales of 92,935 copies; so far the album has sold 270,000 copies domestically, making it Monica's lowest selling album to date. Singles such as "Everytime tha Beat Drop" failed on the pop and R&B charts.


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