It’s time for Brandy and Monica to step up to the mic. The latest Verzuz face-off on Instagram Live will star the two R&B icons as they battle it out singing their greatest hits. Brandy and Monica were once one of music’s hottest duo’s with the release of their Platinum No. 1 single “The Boy is Mine,” but their rocky relationship dates back before the song even came out.
This Verzuz battle will be one for the history books as these two legendary artists come together (virtually) to sing their hearts out and squash the remaining beef for good. In honor of the occasion, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest moments in Brandy and Monica’s longtime relationship.
Brandy & Monica’s first (and only) TV performance of ‘The Boy is Mine’
Brandy and Monica’s duet performance of “The Boy is Mine” at the 1998 VMAs should have been a monumental occasion. The song had reached the top of the charts, and Brandy and Monica were some of the hottest names in music. But all was not well behind the scenes.
Monica was reportedly furious after Brandy performed the hit on The Tonight Show by herself, and Brandy was upset that Monica was taking the title of the song for her new album. The two didn’t even see each other throughout the recording process, so when they came together to perform the Billboard hit at the MTV Video Music Awards, it was their first time coming face-to-face after the duet’s release.
Rumors swirled that the two came to blows backstage at the VMAs, which Monica confirmed years later in 2012, telling Hot 97’s Angie Martinez she “put hands on” Brandy at the awards show. On the same radio interview tour, Monica told WZMX that their beef was less out of pure hatred for each other and more due to the fact that they were both teenagers and not sure how to handle being around people they didn’t mesh with. “We were young. We could barely stay in the room with each other. By no means was it jealousy or envy,” she said. “She and I are polar opposites and instead of embracing that, we used our differences as reasons not to be amongst each other.”
‘The Boy is Mine’ wins a Grammy
It’s a shame that “The Boy is Mine” was surrounded by so much drama considering how successful the song was. When it shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it achieved something only The Beatles had done, which is jump from below the Top 20 to the number one spot. In less than two months, the single was certified double platinum, having sold over 2 million copies.
At the 1999 Grammys, “The Boy is Mine” was nominated for three categories, including Record of the Year. Record of the Year went to Céline Dion for “My Heart Will Go On” and Best R&B Song went to Lauryn Hill for “Doo Wop (That Thing),” but Brandy and Monica walked away with the Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals award by the end of the night.
Brandy & Monica reunite for ‘The Boy is Mine’
When Monica and Brandy began to publicly patch up their relationship in 2012, there was only one thing left to do to make up for the drama behind their VMA performance of “The Boy is Mine”: come together and perform it together as friends and not enemies. V103’s Soul Sessions in Atlanta brought the two divas together on-stage for the first time in over a decade, and their performance of “The Boy is Mine” was only the second time the two sang the song together onstage. To this day, that performance is the last time the two have done the song together.
Brandy & Monica’s temporary reunion
In 2012, Brandy and Monica came together to record a new song together and jumpstart both of their solo careers. “It All Belongs to Me” is an empowering song for all women and those seeking to take charge in their lives and their relationships. The duo promoted the song with TV performances on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Live! With Kelly, and also stopped by radio shows like The Breakfast Club to dish about everything. The duo even had plans to tour together, but those plans quickly fell through.
Beefing on Whitney Houston’s birthday
After seemingly squashing their beef after “It All Belongs to Me,” the two reignited their feud in 2016 when Brandy responded “Chile, bye” to a fan asking her to do the “So Gone” challenge based on Monica’s 2003 hit. Monica addressed the comment on The Real, saying she’s a bigger and better person now who doesn’t hold on to negativity. Brandy mocked her positive attitude on social media, calling it nothing more than a fake front.
The following year, both Brandy and Monica posted tributes to the late Whitney Houston on her birthday. Brandy enjoyed a close relationship with Houston (who starred alongside her in Cinderella), but the comments on her post were swarmed by what she called Monica’s “evil a** fans.” She added, “It’s so much stuff I can post about hateful things they say to me… but I will never have time for that.”
Last year, however, it appeared that the two had begun to rebuild their working relationship again, as they teamed up alongside artists like Ashanti and Keri Hilson for Live Nation’s Femme It Forward concert tour. Now, with their long-awaited Verzuz battle just a few hours away, it may be the beginning of a new chapter in the Brandy and Monica story.