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Grammy Winner Monica Denise Arnold Not Interested in 'Versuz' Battle with Brandy

Claudine Varela
May 05, 2020
06:30 A.M.
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Decades-long rivals, Monica and Brandy differed in opinion about engaging in a "Verzuz" battle today. While Brandy is open to the idea, Monica has something else in mind.

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One of the most famous rivalries in the music scene in the 90s was that of Monica and Brandy. And though they’ve both moved on from it, there are some hoping to revisit it in a “Verzuz” battle today.

Alleged rivals Monica and Brandy posing together at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala. | Photo: Getty Images

Alleged rivals Monica and Brandy posing together at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala. | Photo: Getty Images

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Among those who expressed interest in seeing Monica and Brandy go head to head in the popular battle series initiated by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland was Brandy’s brother, Ray J. He suggested this during an interview with Wendy Williams this week.

However, it seems this dream battle will never see the light of day. According to Monica in her recent interview on “The Morning Culture,” she wouldn’t do a Verzuz battle with Brandy or anyone for that matter.

At the height of the success of “The Boy is Mine” back in 1998, it was reported that Monica punched Brandy backstage before they performed the song during the Video Music Awards.

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Monica at the 2016  “Black Girls Rock!” show in New Jersey. | Photo: Getty Images

Monica at the 2016 “Black Girls Rock!” show in New Jersey. | Photo: Getty Images

WHY MONICA WON'T BATTLE WITH BRANDY

Monica acknowledged the interest surrounding the showdown, having been pitted against Brandy for decades. But she insisted she would rather have a more positive collaboration with the “Moesha” star.

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“I can handle a celebration. I think battles, one thing that has happened to me my whole career, is being put against someone else that I’m not even remotely similar to. I think the reality is, us being polar opposites makes it dope.”

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The 39-year-old singer who collaborated with Brandy on the duet, “The Boy is Mine” added that she would prefer people not to think of her and Brandy as rivals.

“Because I’ve been trying to tell people for about 25 years, you can like both! You’re going to turn this into 1998 all over again and I have no interest in that,” she said of the Verzuz pitch.

“For me, it would have to be a celebratory form of it. It would just have to be. I just don’t see it any other way.”

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WHAT BRANDY THINKS

Contrary to Monica’s opinion, Brandy had no qualms about doing a “Verzuz” battle with her. She revealed during a Facebook chat with Essence that she was open to the idea though she hasn’t really thought about it that much.

“I’m open for sure. I’m not closed-minded,” she said.

Brandy at the 29th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing on World AIDS Day.| Photo: Getty Images

Brandy at the 29th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing on World AIDS Day.| Photo: Getty Images

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THE FAMOUS PUNCHING INCIDENT

At the height of the success of “The Boy is Mine” back in 1998, it was reported that Monica punched Brandy backstage before they performed the song during the Video Music Awards.

According to producer Dallas Austin, Monica never really liked Brandy. In fact, they recorded their hit single separately and didn’t have any form of interaction when they filmed its music video.

Dallas attributed Monica’s lack of friendship with Brandy as a result of a lot of stuff she was going through. “If you didn’t have gold teeth, she didn’t like you,” he explained of Monica. “She was really hood in Atlanta.”

As of 2012, Monica and Brandy seemed to have buried the hatchet when they reunited to record the song, “It All Belongs to Me.”

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