Since songs are introduced to us through the vocal performances of talented artists, the lyrics and hooks are forever associated with those artists. However, singer/songwriters like Mariah Carey and Adele are rare. The fact is, most of our favorite songs are written by people other than the vocalists who sing them.
Monica is one of the most talented singers of a generation. The Georgia native rose to fame when she was just 15 following the release of her debut album, Miss Thang. The albums lead singles “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and “Before You Walk Out of My Life” made Monica the youngest artist ever to have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.
Since then she has gone on to sustain a 25-year career in the industry and is slated to release her ninth studio album, Chapter 38. However, Monica’s resurgence in the mid-2000s is due to talented singer/songwriter, Jazmine Sullivan.
Jazmine Sullivan is multi-talented
With a mentor like Missy Elliot, there is no way Sullivan could lose. At age 21, her debut album, Fearless was a massive success, earning her acclaim and Grammy nominations. Since then she has released two more albums, 2010’s Love Me Back and 2015’s Reality Show.
Though Sullivan has never been an artist to put out an album each year, she has continued to make money behind the scenes penning iconic songs for various artists. In addition to her own catalog, the Philadelphia native has written songs for Mary J. Blige and Ace Hood among others.
In fact, a song Sullivan penned in 2010 helped thrust Monica back into the spotlight.
Jazmine Sullivan wrote Monica’s hit song ‘Everything To Me’
Though it was recorded during an unplanned studio session, “Everything To Me” penned by Sullivan and co-produced by Missy Elliott and Cainon Lamb for Monica’s sixth studio album Still Standing became a standout track.
Sullivan who is Elliot’s protege was inspired to write the song using elements of Deniece Williams’ 1981 classic “Silly.” Monica had been known for mixing the old with the new as she did for her hit single “So Gone” from her 2003 album, After the Storm.
“Everything to Me” wasn’t even supposed to be on Still Standing. However, amid some legal disputes between Monica and her label J Records the song replace the initial leading singles which were supposed to be “Nothing Like” and “Here I Am.” Monica did not feel like those original songs were authentically her.
‘Everything To Me’ was Monica’s first chart-topping single in years
It turns out that Monica was right to trust Sullivan, Elliot, and her intuition. “Everything To Me” was her first chart-topper in over seven years and it was nominated for a Grammy. Monica told Pop Eater at the time,
It just made me realize that people want authentic Monica. They don’t want me to keep up with all the different gimmicks and trends that are taking place. So that’s why we picked the new single because it’s just me singing.