This article is about the album. For the song with the same name, see The Boy Is Mine (song).
The Boy Is Mine is the second studio album by American 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 1995 debut album Miss Thang, 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 pop, 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 standing at 2.0 million copies. 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.
Originally signed to Rowdy Records, Monica's debut studio album, Miss Thang, was released in July 1995, selling about one and a half million million copies in the United States. 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.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. 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.
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. "Very personally involed" with the project, David consulted additional producers to work with the singer, including Jermaine Dupri and David Foster. He also lined Monica up with several Diane Warren songs.
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 the 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." 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."
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."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." 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."
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. 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). The album sold nearly 526,000 during first two months of its release, and more than 860,000 copies until the end of 1998.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. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album's stateside sales are estimated at over 2,016,000, not including sales from BMG music clubs. On the Canadian RPM Albums Chart, the album debuted at number eleven, on the issue dated August 3, 1998. Eight weeks later, on the issue date September 28, 1998, the album reached its peak position of number ten, staying there for one week. To date, the album has been certified triple-platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), denoting shipments of over 300,000 units.
In Japan, The Boy Is Mine debuted at number six on the official Oricon chart, and according to Sony Music, has sold over 500,000 copies throughout the country. It was eventually certified double platinum by Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). 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.
Five commercial singles were released from The Boy Is Mine. The album's lead single of the same name, a duet with fellow R&B singer Brandy, 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, "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. 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.
"The First Night" was released as the second single from the album. The song went to radio stations in the United States on July 13, 1998. It received positive reviews from music critics and also had chart success as similar to the first single, becoming her second number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. It remained within the top forty for twenty weeks and was ranked eighteen on the Hot 100 year-end charts in 1998. Outside the Unites States, "The First Night" reached the top 10 in Canada and the United Kingdom. "Angel of Mine", a cover version of British R&B trio Eternal's 1997 hit single, was released as the third offering from the album in February 1999. The ballad was her 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 1998 and 1999. 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 the same year with not being released in North America. Follow-up single "Street Symphony" received a US release as the album's fourth single in mid-to-late 1999, featuring orchestral background in the song was performed 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.
"The Boy Is Mine" (duet with Brandy)
Brandy Norwood, Rodney Jerkins, Japhe Tejeda, Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels
Darkchild, D. Austin, B. Norwood
"Ring da Bell"
"The First Night"
Jermaine Dupri, Marilyn McLeod, Pam Sawyer, Tamara Savage
D. Austin, Colin Wolfe
"Angel of Mine"
Rhett Lawrence, Travon Potts
"Gone Be Fine" (featuring Outkast)
D. Austin, Andre Benjamin
"Take Him Back"
D. Austin, Sting
Dallas Austin, Leslie Brathwaite
"Right Here Waiting" (featuring 112)
D. Foster, Tony Maserati
"Cross the Room"
D. Austin, B. Curtis, Debra Killings
"I Keep It to Myself"
Danny Sembello, Marti Sharron
"For You I Will"
Notes and sample credits
"The First Night" samples Diana Ross' 1976 "Love Hangover".,
"Take Him Back" samples Sting's 1993 "Shape of My Heart".,
"Cross the Room" samples The Fatback Band's 1980 "I Like Girls".,
"Angel of Mine" is a cover version of Eternal's 1997 original recording.,
"Misty Blue" is a cover version of Dorothy Moore's 1976 original recording.,
"Right Here Waiting" is a cover version of Richard Marx' 1989 original recording.,
Charts and certifications:
Credits and personnel:
Credits are taken from the album's liner notes.
Instruments and performances
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,
Mixing - Mick Guzauski,
Mixing assistants - Tom Berner, Marnie Riley,
Programming - Felipe Elgueta, John "J.R." Robinson, Glen Woodward,
July 14, 1998