Celebrities often accuse the media of instigating drama. While some dismiss any rumored fall outs with other stars, many fall victim to the speculation. A prime example would be teen pop tarts, Brandy and Monica. Last year, Monica was promoting her comeback effort, Still Standing. The Georgia songbird talked about squashing her beef with former rival, Brandy, in several interviews. At the height of their feud, neither singer commented on it. We’ve come to find Monica felt as if their feud was conjured up by media and industry personnel to drum up sales for the two R&B divas’ respective albums. “We started at a time when there weren’t a lot of us and, of course, they made us not like each other,” Monica lamented, “We were young enough to not understand that it was just for media sensationalism all together.” Manufactured or not, the ploy worked. Not only did their collaborative single, “The Boy Is Mine,” reach number one on the Hot 100, it stayed there for thirteen weeks. As both women are working on fresh material, The Urban Daily and I (@JaySpeakEasy) wanted to pose a question to our readers. Who was the definitive victor in their so-called feud?
Brandy and Monica had more in common than the public was aware of. Both were born in the south, Monica in Atlanta and Brandy in McComb, Mississippi. Also, their vocal abilities were honed in the church. Each hit the scene in their early teens and were painted as sweet fresh faced teen queens. Monica had a little more sass than Brandy. Then again, Monica’s material on her debut disc, Miss Thang, was more adult than Brandy’s love soaked debut.
The differences arise when you look at their journeys with fame. Monica started out doing talent shows and was discovered by producer, Dallas Austin. Brandy got her start acting on the short lived sitcom, Thea. Monica’s acting career was limited to a few guest parts on 90s sitcoms and the disastrous MTV movie, Love Song. Needless to say, Brandy took the cake in that department with movie roles and a six year run as the title character in Moesha.
While both rode the crest of success into the late 90s, the career hardships came in the early 2000s. Moesha was suddenly canceled in 2001. At the same time, Monica was dealing with the suicide of her then boyfriend, Jarvis Weems. Jarvis shot himself in front of the Atlanta native in a cemetery as they sat in front of his brother’s tombstone. As Monica withdrew from the public eye, Brandy was promoting her third disc, Full Moon.
In the midst of promotion, Brandy announced she was pregnant and married. It was later revealed her marriage was never legal. Professionally, Brandy wasn’t faring any better. Full Moon wasn’t the hit it was expected to be which led Brandy to focus on motherhood. However, Monica’s third album was a hit driven by the Missy Elliott produced single, “So Gone.” As Monica’s star began fading again, Brandy made headlines after being involved in a car accident, which killed a woman. The victim’s family filed three wrongful death suits against the singer. The cases have been settled out of court and the stress of the ordeal caused Brandy to become a recluse until her fifth album, Human, was finished.
For a period, both divas had dropped out of the spotlight to raise families. Both slipped back onto fans’ radar with reality shows and done with the long simmering beef. Having just entered their thirties, a genuine friendship has developed between the two. Brandy has stated how Monica’s comeback success has given her hope fans will embrace her new project. Coming full circle, the two plan to record another duet. Will they battle for another man’s heart or support each other as friends on the track? We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, tell us which of the two was your favorite R&B teen starlet.
Brandy & Monica perform “The Boy Is Mine” 10 years later.