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Monica making beautiful music

Web posted on: Wednesday, July 22, 1998 6:11:42 PM

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Seventeen-year-old songstress and fashion icon Monica is on a roll. Not only has she achieved single-name status and the power to define what clothes are cool for thousands of her fans, but she has also topped Billboard charts for the past eight weeks with her hit duet with pop star Brandy, "The Boy is Mine."

But believe it or not, she nearly delayed her latest run of success. Monica says she had reservations when first invited to collaborate with Brandy on the chart-topping single.

Hear a clip from "The Boy is Mine"

Full audio performance:
68k MPEG-3
Audio clip: 95k WAV
Video clip: 475Mb QuickTime

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"And not because she's Brandy, but because it's something that I hadn't done anyway -- used a duet as a first single, and it was definitely something to prepare for," she says. "I mean I never thought that it would be as big a song as it is."

'I was given a gift'

Monica first hit it big three years ago when her debut album, "Miss Thang," skyrocketed to the top of the charts. But she's been a show-stopper since the ripe old age of 10.

"Everybody thought it would be cute if I sang 'The Greatest Love of All' for a king and queen competition at our church," she recalls. "But when I sang it was more than cute, and I recognized that I was given a gift."

On "The Boy Is Mine," the teen diva lets her golden voice spin the tales and hardships of growing up.

The dress Monica wore in the video for "The Boy is Mine" is flying off clothing store racks

'A lot more mature'

"I would say this album is a lot more mature than the first. I recorded my first album from age 12 to 14, and there have been a lot of experiences since then, and I wasn't shy to put them on this album," she says.

Despite her success, Monica spends her time like any other teenager.

"I do simple things," she says. "I do the movies a lot, and I go out to eat on a regular basis, over and over, three or four times a day, and I do a lot of activities that include children. I think if no one else in the world loves you, children always will, because they don't know anything but pure love."

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