Brandy Tells Monica The Boy Is Hers: Wake-Up Video

It seems like every musical generation has its own diva duet that brings together two huge stars for a tag-team event that elevates both of their statuses. Recently, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé got together for a pair of tunes that helped establish them both as dominant stars. But before Gaga and B, there was Brandy and Monica, two youthful R&B vixens who dominated pop radio with their smash single "The Boy Is Mine." It appeared on Brandy's second album Never Say Never, which hit stores on this day in 1998.

Brandy had already scored big with her 1994 self-titled debut, which gave birth to hits like "I Wanna Be Down" and "Brokenhearted." But since that album hit the streets when she was only 15 years old and because of her clear commitment to acting roles (the space between her first and second albums exists because she starred on the successful sitcom "Moesha"), there was doubt about Brandy's ability to still deliver modern, mature R&B tunes.

Never Say Never — and especially "The Boy Is Mine" — made Brandy into a superstar. The funky, groovy production provided by Rodney Jerkins, Dallas Austin and a parade of others was a perfect fit for Brandy's buttery-smooth vocal chops. It became a massive juggernaut, scoring half a dozen singles (including "Have You Ever?" and "Almost Doesn't Count") that carried Brandy into the new millennium.

It all kicked off with "The Boy Is Mine," a stunning, shimmery four minutes of blissful pop that has a wicked beat and two young divas at the top of their game. If aliens ever want to know what R&B sounded like at the end of the 1990s, this is the song (and the video, with its references to Jerry Springer and a guest appearance by Mekhi Phifer) we should play for them.

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