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
Label Arista
Monica chronology
Miss Thang
(1995)Miss Thang1995
The Boy Is Mine
All Eyez on Me
(2002)All Eyez on Me2002
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 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. Additional producers included 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 toppers 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 was released in July 1995, selling about one and a half million copies in the United States alone.[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 earned Monica four Soul Train Music Award nods as well as Lady of Soul, NAACP Image Award, Billboard Music Award and American Music Award nominations.[3] After a transition from Rowdy Records to Clive Davis's Arista label which was Rowdy's parent company, Monica's mainstream success was boosted, when the 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 Davis on The Boy Is Mine.[4] "Very personally involved" with the project, Davis consulted additional producers to work with the singer, including David Foster and Jermaine Dupri, the latter of which would become a frequent collaborator on subsequent projects.[5] He also lined Monica up with several Diane Warren songs.[5] A breakaway from the material on the her debut, Monica considered the album a natural progression: "I was 13 then; the themes weren't as mature," she said. "I'm trying to portray a more assertive young female [...] I'm 17 now; my lyrics aren't sexually explicit but are about love and being in love." While she reportedly co-wrote several tracks for the album, none of them made the final cut.[6]


On July 9, 1998 a listening party for the album was held in Los Angeles ; Another listening party was scheduled in New York City at a later date.[7] Both of the listening parties were broadcast live via cyber cast on Arista's world wide website.[7] Arista records also planned for internet chats as well as online contest for fans.[7] The label also planned for a international promotional tour for Monica, the tour would begin in the U.K. and then move to other European Territories such as Germany, Holland, France and Sweden.[7] She also was set to appear on late night talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Vibe (talk show) and morning shows such as Good Day Atlanta.[7] In mid June Monica shot the video for her second single 'The First Night" and it was serviced to Bet, MTV and The Box.[7] After the release of the album Monica did in store appearances and she also went on a promotional radio tour.[7] TV ads for the album appeared on Bet, MTV and The Box and radio ads were played with announcements about the "win it before you buy it" contests.[7] Items that were given in the contest included posters, flats, pins, flyers, and streamers. A back to school promotional campaign was also planned and the campaign was going to feature Monica on book covers[7].

On August 29, 1998 Monica made an appearance at KMEL's inaugural All-Star Jam in Mountain View, California at the Shoreline Amphitheater.[8] The following month later on September 3 Monica Performed at the Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards.[9] Also in september Monica performed The Boy Is Mine live for the first time with Brandy at the 15th annual MTV Video Music Awards.[10] On October 5, 1998 Monica Performed The First Night on Motown Live, and she also sung a duet with Mary J. Blige during the show as well. [11][12] On October 11 Monica performed at the 4th annual International Achievement in Arts Awards.[13] Also in October MTV News reported that Monica was going to participate in several fashion shows for the House of Chanel and Karl Largerfeld in Paris.[14] In January 1999 it was reported that Monica was planning a possible joint tour with R.Kelly but no further news was ever mentioned regarding that tour.[15]

On January 16, 1999 Monica performed on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That.[16] In March 1999 Monica co-hosted and performed at the Soul Train Awards which was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.[17] On April 23, 1999 it was announced that Monica was going to be apart of Nickelodeon's first annual All That Music & More Fest with 98 Degrees, B*Witched, Tatyana Ali, Aaron Carter, 3rd Storee, and No Authority.[18] The tour began on June 17 in Indianapolis at the Deer Creek Amphitheatre and it ended on August 21 in Washington DC at the Nissan Pavilion.[18] In the midst of the All That Music & More Festival Monica partnered with the National Make-A-Wish Foundation to create skating parties.[19] The skating parties was going to donate money raised to non-profit organizations that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.[19] The parties were held in the evenings after she completed her day gigs at the "All That" fest. The first Skate party was held in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 4, with subsequent parties scheduled for Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, and Holmdel, New Jersey.[19] Also in April 1999 it was announced that Monica was going to perform on select dates at the third and final run of the Lilith Fair tour.[20] [21] She was going to perform alongside Mya, the Dixie Chicks, the Pretenders, Melky Sedeck, Luscious Jackson, Sixpence None The Richer, and Cibo Matto.[20] In May 1999 a special ceremony was held for Monica in her hometown of Atlanta in which she was honored with the Phoenix Award.[22] In September 1999 Monica co-hosted and Performed at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.[23] In November 1999 it was announced That Monica, N sync, Wyclef and Destiny's Child were going to perform at the Beacon Theater for a HIV/AIDS awareness concert put together by Life Beat.[24]


The Boy Is Mine produced several singles. Its release was preceded by the lead single of the same name, a duet with fellow R&B singer Brandy. The collaboration received favorable reviews from contemporary music critics and became 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, "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.[25] 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.[25] 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.[26]

Durpi-produced "The First Night" was released as the album's second single a week ahead of the album release.[27] Another commercial success, it became her second number one 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 ten in Canada and the United Kingdom.[28] "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 in November 1998. The ballad became Monica's third chart topper for four consecutive weeks in United States, and finished 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.[29] While the song was less successful in territories where Eternal's version had charted the year before through Monica's rendition peaked at number two in Canada and reached the top 20 of the Australian Singles Chart.[28]

"Inside," serving as the album's fourth single, was released internationally only on March 1, 1999. It failed to chart however.[28] A fifth single, "Street Symphony," received a US release as the 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.[28] 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 Billboard's Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.[28] Similarly, "Gone Be Fine," a collaboration with OutKast, reached number five on Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[30][31]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[32]
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention)[33]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[34]

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 debut 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."[32]

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."[34] 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."[30] Generally positive toward 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."[35]


Organization Country Accolade Year Source
The Guardian United Kingdom 1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die 2007 [36]

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.[37] 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).[38] The album sold nearly 526,000 during the first two months of its release,[39] and more than 860,000 copies until the end of 1998.[40] 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.[41] According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album's stateside sales are estimated at over 2,106,000, including sales from BMG music clubs.[42]

On the Canadian RPM Albums Chart, the album debuted at number eleven, on the issue dated August 3, 1998.[43] Eight weeks later, on the issue date September 28, 1998, the album reached its peak position of number ten, staying there for one week.[44] To date, the album has been certified triple-platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), denoting shipments of over 300,000 units.[45] 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.[45]

Track listing[edit]

1."Street Symphony"Dallas AustinAustin5:36
2."The Boy Is Mine" (duet with Brandy)
3."Ring da Bell"AustinAustin4:23
4."The First Night"Dupri3:55
5."Misty Blue"Bobby Montgomery
  • Austin
  • Colin Wolfe
6."Angel of Mine"Darkchild4:10
7."Gone Be Fine" (featuring OutKast)Austin4:17
8."Inside"Diane WarrenDavid Foster4:11
9."Take Him Back"
  • Austin
  • Leslie Brathwaite
10."Right Here Waiting" (featuring 112)Richard Marx4:29
11."Cross the Room"Austin3:51
12."I Keep It to Myself"
Daryl Simmons4:25
13."For You I Will"WarrenFoster4:54


  • ^[A] denotes co-producer
  • ^[B] denotes additional producer

Sample credits


Credits are taken from the album's liner notes.[46]

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



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[66] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[68] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing region, formats, label, editions, catalog number and reference
Region Date Format(s) Label Edition(s)
Canada July 14, 1998 Arista Standard
United States


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External links[edit]