The Boy Is Mine (album)

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The Boy Is Mine
The Boy Is Mine (Monica album) coverart.JPG
Studio album by Monica
Released July 14, 1998 (1998-07-14)
Recorded 1997–98
Length 57:49
Monica chronology
Miss Thang
The Boy Is Mine
All Eyez on Me
Singles from Monica
  1. "The Boy is Mine"
    Released: May 19, 1998
  2. "The First Night"
    Released: July 7, 1998
  3. "Angel of Mine"
    Released: November 17, 1998
  4. "Inside"
    Released: March 1, 1999
  5. "Street Symphony"
    Released: June 18, 1999

The Boy Is Mine is the second studio album by American R&B recording artist Monica. It was released by Arista Records on July 14, 1998, in the United States. The album deviated from the formula of her debut Miss Thang (1995) as she had more creative control over the material she wrote and recorded; a step that she considered a "natural progression". On the record, Monica worked with a variety of producers and writers from different genres such as gospel, R&B, and hip hop, including frequent collaborators Dallas Austin, Colin Wolfe, and Daryl Simmons. Additionally, she wrote and produced the album's material with David Foster, Diane Warren, Jermaine Dupri, and Rodney Jerkins and his Darkchild crew, some of which would become household names on subsequent albums.

Upon release, The Boy Is Mine received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 and at number two on the Top R&B Albums in August 1998. It was eventually certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over three million copies throughout the country, with estimated sales of 2.1 million copies in the United States as of November 2014. Her biggest international seller to date, it became a moderate success outside the United States, peaking within the top twenty in France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Five commercial singles were released from the album. Lead single "The Boy Is Mine", a duet with singer Brandy, became the best-selling song of the year in the United States, spending 13 weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number one in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand. "The First Night" and "Angel of Mine", released as the album's second and third single respectively, also became chart topper on Billboard Hot 100. The Boy Is Mine also spawned "Street Symphony" and the international singles "Inside" and "Right Here Waiting", while also containing the hit single, "For You I Will", from the Space Jam soundtrack.


After Monica signed a deal to Rowdy Records, her debut album Miss Thang which was released in July 1995, selling about one and a half million million copies in the United States.[1] It produced three top ten singles, including debut single "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)" and "Before You Walk Out of My Life", both of which made Monica the youngest artist ever to have two consecutive chart-topping hits on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart.[2] Miss Thang subsequently won Monica a Billboard Music Award and garnered her an American Music Award nomination in the Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist category.[3] After a label change to Clive Davis's Arista Records, Rowdy's parent label, Monica mainstream success was boosted, when Diane Warren-written "For You I Will", from the Space Jam soundtrack, became her next top ten pop hit.[3]

After the success of her debut, Monica entered recording studios in 1997 to start work on her second album. Again, she worked closely with Dallas Austin on the bulk of the album who shared executive producer credit with David on The Boy Is Mine.[4] "Very personally involved" with the project, David consulted additional producers to work with the singer, including Jermaine Dupri and David Foster.[5] He also lined Monica up with several Diane Warren songs.[5]


The album's lead single of the same name, a duet with fellow R&B singer Brandy, which was released on May 19, 1998, it has received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics and was the first number-one pop record for both artists, both stateside and internationally. Exploiting the media's presumption of a rivalry between the two young singers,[6] "The Boy Is Mine" became the best-selling song of the year in the United States, spending 13 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. Internationally, the single also achieved a strong charting, peaking at number-one in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, while reaching the top five on most of the other charts on which it appeared.[6] It was awarded the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and received nominations for both Record of the Year and Best R&B Song in 1999. At the Billboard Music Awards, the song won in three categories, including Hot 100 Sales Single of Year.[7]

"The First Night" was released as the album's second single. The song went to radio stations in the United States on July 7, 1998.[8] It received positive reviews from music critics and also had chart success as similar to the first single, becoming her second number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. It remained within the top forty for 20 weeks and was ranked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts in 1998. Outside the United States, "The First Night" reached the top 10 in Canada and the United Kingdom.[9]

"Angel of Mine", a cover version of British R&B trio Eternal's 1997 hit single, was released as the album's third offering single on November 17, 1998. The ballad was her third chart topper for four consecutive weeks in United States, and became on the third on Billboard's 1999 year-end chart, making Monica the only artist to place within the year-end top ten in both from 1998 to 1999.[10] In addition, the song peaked at number two in Canada and reached the top 20 of the Australian Singles Chart.

"Inside" was released as the album's fourth single on March 1, 1999. Which is the same year with its single not being released in North America.

The album's fifth single titled "Street Symphony" received a US release as the album's official fourth single on June 18, 1999, featuring orchestral background in the song performing by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. It peaked at number 50 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Monica's rendition of Richard Marx's 1989 single "Right Here Waiting", a duet with boy band 112, also received a promotional release in 1999. The single was only released as a limited vinyl format with no promotional video, but peaked at number one on the Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly C+[11][12]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[13]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[14]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[15]
Vibe (positive)[16]

Upon its release, The Boy Is Mine garnered generally mixed to positive reviews from contemporary music critics, many of whom liked the album's ballads and classic sound, praising Monica for her vocal performance. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave the album four out of five stars, complimenting the album as a whole, claiming it to be "as good as mainstream urban R&B gets in 1998." He felt that The Boy Is Mine compromised "a better, more consistent batch of songs" when in comparison to her debuted album Miss Thang, led by productions from Dallas Austin who "not only does he give her songs immaculately crafted musical backdrops – both ballads and up-tempo dance numbers sound irresistible – but he helps her cultivate her voice so she sounds more mature than her 17 years."[4] Connie Johnson, writing for the Los Angeles Times rated the album three and a half out of a possible four stars. After comparing her to Brandy, she found that Monica "really has more in common with label-mates Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. Like them, she's a major league talent who knows it takes more than a great and memorable voice to bat the ball out of the park – and it's a pleasure to recommend someone with that type of professional savvy."[13]

Natasha Stovall from the Rolling Stone gave The Boy Is Mine a mixed review, describing it as "a more classic path, with help from the cool hand of producer Dallas Austin." She found that the songs "hearken back past hip-hop songbirds like Mary J. Blige and adult-contemporary sirens like Toni Braxton to someplace closer to soul's source." Praising her vocals, Stovall commented that "Monica uses her honey-dipped, church-worthy voice to lift her radiofriendly tunes – and, hopefully, the rest of contemporary R&B – to a higher plane."[15] Entertainment Weekly was critical on the amount of "mid-tempo ballads about love lost", but was positive towards the other songs on the album, writing that "much of this groove-driven disc, like the Jermaine Dupri-produced "The First Night", should keep her airwave run alive. Transcendent nuggets like "Street Symphony" showcase her voluptuous vocals."[11] Generally positive with The Boy Is Mine, Vibe magazine felt that "no longer encumbered by the extreme youth that made some of the more sensuous moments on Miss Thang vaguely embarrassing, Monica embraces womanhood with the full force of her raspy, resonant alto and flourishing postadolescent libido."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Boy Is Mine debuted at the number eight position on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 91,000 copies, opening to nearly three times as many units as her debut album in 1995.[17] It marked her first top ten entry on the chart, as well as her first album to reach the top three of Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart, debuting at number two behind Noreaga's N.O.R.E. (1998).[18] The album sold nearly 526,000 during first two months of its release,[19] and more than 860,000 copies until the end of 1998.[20] The Boy Is Mine was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over three million copies within the United States.[21] According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album's stateside sales are estimated at over 2,106,000, including sales from BMG music clubs.[22] On the Canadian RPM Albums Chart, the album debuted at number eleven, on the issue dated August 3, 1998.[23] Eight weeks later, on the issue date September 28, 1998, the album reached its peak position of number ten, staying there for one week.[24] To date, the album has been certified triple-platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), denoting shipments of over 300,000 units.[25]

In Japan, The Boy Is Mine debuted at number 69 on the official Oricon chart, Elsewhere, the album became a top twenty success in the majority of the charts it appeared on, reaching number 13 on the Dutch Albums Chart, number 17 on the New Zealand Albums Chart, number 19 on the Swiss Albums Chart and number 20 on the French Albums Chart. In addition, it also charted in Australia, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.[25]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Street Symphony" Dallas Austin Austin 5:36
2. "The Boy Is Mine" (duet with Brandy) Brandy Norwood, Rodney Jerkins, Japhe Tejeda, Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels Darkchild, Austin, B. Norwood 4:50
3. "Ring da Bell" Austin Austin 4:23
4. "The First Night" Jermaine Dupri, Tamara Savage Dupri 3:55
5. "Misty Blue" Bobby Montgomery Austin, Colin Wolfe 4:21
6. "Angel of Mine" Rhett Lawrence, Travon Potts Darkchild 4:10
7. "Gone Be Fine" (featuring OutKast) Austin, Andre Benjamin Austin 4:17
8. "Inside" Diane Warren David Foster 4:11
9. "Take Him Back" Austin, Sting Austin, Leslie Brathwaite 4:27
10. "Right Here Waiting" (featuring 112) Richard Marx Foster, Tony Maserati[A] 4:29
11. "Cross the Room" Austin, B. Curtis, Debra Killings Austin 3:51
12. "I Keep It to Myself" Danny Sembello, Marti Sharron Daryl Simmons 4:25
13. "For You I Will" Warren Foster 4:54


  • ^[A] denotes co-producer

Sample credits


Credits are taken from the album's liner notes.[26]

Musicians and performers

  • Background vocals – Darcy Aldridge, Sue Ann Carwell, Chelle Davis, Debra Killings, Pamela Major, Jeff Pescetto
  • Bass guitar – Ronnie Garrett, Colin Wolfe
  • Drums – Tom Knight
  • Guitar – Sonny Lallerstedt, Tomi Martin, Isaac Phillips, Michael Thompson
  • Piano – Dean Gant
  • Percussion – Scott Meeder
  • Strings – Darkchild Orchestra

Technical and production

  • Executive producers – Clive Davis
  • Engineering – A. Baars, G. Crawford, Ben Garrison, Humberto Gatica, Thom "TK" Kidd, Carlton Lynn, Ricco Lumpkins, Chris Tergesen
  • Engineering assistants – John Horesco IV, Ty Hudson, Tim Lauber, Kevin Lively, Vernon Mungo, Claudine Pontier, Mike Wilson
  • MixingMick Guzauski
  • Mixing assistants – Tom Berner, Marnie Riley
  • Programming – Felipe Elgueta, John "J.R." Robinson, Glen Woodward

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date
Canada July 14, 1998
United States


  1. ^ Basham, David (2002-03-14). "Got Charts? The Long Road To #1 — And Those Who Rocked It". MTV News. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  2. ^ Bland, Bridget (2009-10-25). "Monica: Still Standing With New BET Reality Show And Forthcoming Music". Entertainment Newsire. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  3. ^ a b "Monica Proves She Has Staying Power With Hit Album, `The Boy Is Mine'". Jet. 1999-17-19. Retrieved 2010-10-22.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Monica: The Boy Is Mine" at AllMusic. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Davis, Clive. "The Soundtrack of My Life". 
  6. ^ a b Farber, Jim (2002-02-06). "At Age 21, The N.J.-based Producer Is King of His World". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  7. ^ "Sweet Soul Music: Top Billboard Hot 100 R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  8. ^ Faison, Datu (1998-06-27). "Rhythm Section". Billboard. 
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (1999-04-06). "Chart Beat". Billboard. 
  10. ^ Bronson, Fred (1999-12-25). "The Years in Charts". Billboard. 
  11. ^ a b "Music Review: 'The Boy Is Mine' Review". Entertainment Weekly: 80. 14 August 1998. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Monica – Boy Is Mine CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Johnson, Connie (11 July 1998). "Album Review". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Monica". Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Stovall, Natasha (12 August 1998). "Monica: The Boy Is Mine". Rolling Stone. Straight Arrow (RS 794). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. 
  16. ^ a b Garnder, Elyssa (11 September 1998). "Monica: The Boy Is Mine". Vibe. 
  17. ^ Faison, Datu (5 July 2003). "Monica 'Storms' to First No.1 Album". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  18. ^ Faison, Datu (1 August 1998). "Rhythm Section". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  19. ^ "Brandy And Monica 'Held Hands And Prayed Together'". Yahoo! Music. 16 September 1998. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  20. ^ Samuels, Anita M. (26 December 1998). "Comebacks, Rap Smashes Spark R&B". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  21. ^ "Gold & Platinum > Searchable Database > Monica". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  22. ^ "Ask Billboard As Years Go By". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 54, No. 18, October 05 1991". RPM. 1991-10-05. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  24. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 68, No. 1, September 28, 1998". RPM. 1998-09-28. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  25. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum Search". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  26. ^ The Boy Is Mine (CD liner). Monica. Arista Records. 1998. 
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  28. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". GfK Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  31. ^ 18, 2014/ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: February 18, 2014" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
  32. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Monica – The Boy Is Mine". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  35. ^ 6, 2013 "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  36. ^ a b "The Boy Is Mine - Monica |". 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 22 June 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ "Canadian certifications – The Boy is Mine". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ "American certifications – The Boy is Mine". Recording Industry Association of America. 

External links[edit]