2016 Black Heritage Festival Headliner
Monica will inarguably be remembered in music as one of the most iconic soul singers of a generation. Her enviable resume detailing extraordinary musical contributions that started professionally at the tenderfoot age of 12 when her first major label deal was signed.
Monica’s musical journey started in College Park, Ga., when she began performing with a traveling gospel choir, following in her mother’s footsteps, an incredible church singer herself. While honing her craft competing in as many local talent shows she could find, Monica was discovered by hitmaker Dallas Austin, signed to Arista Records’ distributed label, Rowdy Records and by thirteen became the youngest artist ever to score two back-to-back Billboard #1 chart-topping hit records with “Don’t Take it Personal” (Just one of dem Days) and “Before you Walk Out of My Life.” By the end of 1995, she had taken the world by storm with her unstoppable debut album, “Miss Thang.” Her next album, the 1998 record-breaker “The Boy Is Mine,” was a crossover pop juggernaut as the result of her duet with Brandy; the Rodney Jerkins produced song of the same name. The single spent thirteen weeks at #1 on the coveted Billboard chart, earning Monica her first Grammy Award to add to her already growing collection of Billboard, American Music and Soul Train awards. “The Boy Is Mine” album would feature two more Billboard #1 hits –“Angel of Mine” and “The First Night”– and would establish Monica as a bona-fide superstar and one of most successful artists of the entire decade. Over the next ten years Monica would release four more Billboard chart-toppingalbums “After the Storm,”“The Makings of Me,”“Still Standing,” and “New Life.” In all, she has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and she holds the record as the first artist to top the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with No.1 songs over the span of three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s and 2010s), which puts her in the elite company of history-making superstars such as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, James Brown and Marvin Gaye, all sharing similar accomplishments. She’s acted on stage and in feature films, contributed to the hit NBC show, “The Voice,” and witnessed her life documented in the BET reality show, “Monica: Still Standing.” And in 2010, Billboard Magazine listed Monica at No. 24 on it’s list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years.