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If you’ve heard Ariana Grande’s new song, “Monopoly”, you may be wondering: Who is Victoria Monét? Ariana Grande’s “Monopoly” duet partner has been her friend for a long time, but how did they meet? And where did Monét come from? Well, like Grande once was, Monét is an up-and-coming singer, and her recent duet with Grande is only the start of her blooming career.
But before we dive into Monét’s backstory and her friendship with Grande, let’s talk about “Monopoly” and its music video. The song, one of Grande’s many surprise releases since last year’s Sweetener, is a sexy-sweet pop song in which Monét and Grande sing about how they’re on the up and up and how nothing will stop them, especially not fuckery. The song also includes a line about liking both men and women, which many fans took as Grande coming out as bisexual. The music video for “Monopoly” also included fun, meme-like shoutouts to Grande’s past albums.
“Monopoly” is one of many surprise releases Grande has blessed fans with this year, including her 2019 album Thank U, Next. But perhaps what Grande has blessed fans with the most is introducing them to Monét. So, who is Victoria Monét? You’re about to her a lot about her.
She Was Grande’s Songwriter First
Before she sang with Grande herself, Monét was responsible for writing some of Grande’s most popular hits, from early songs like “Honeymoon Avenue” and “My Everything” to recent bangers like “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings. Though she’s released several EPs of her own, Monét may be better known as a songwriter. Along with Grande, she’s also written for Fifth Harmony, Jordin Sparks and Machine Gun Kelly. Her interest in songwriting started as a teen when she began writing poetry before a friend suggested that she become a “ghostwriter” for different artists. “I took the advice and just kept writing and singing. After meeting one person, that lead to meeting another and another. Eventually, I moved to L.A. and kept my head buried in the music and it’s been going on like that for years,” she told Miss Bish.
She Used to Be in a Girl Group
Years before she made a name for herself as songwriter, Monét started in a girl group. The opportunity came after she reached out to producer Rodney Jerkins on MySpace and he invited her to audition for the girl group Purple Reign in Los Angeles. She made it, and a year later, the girl group was signed by Motown Records by Universal Music Group. The group was eventually dropped, but Monét used the relationships she built to further her singing and songwriting career. “I kept writing songs and I was able to build a lot of relationships,” she told You Know I Got Soul.
She Met Grande When She Was Still on Nickelodeon
Monét and Grande aren’t recent friends. They’ve known each other for almost a decade. In an interview with You Know I Got Soul, Monét explained that she and her music partner, Tommy Brown, met Grande when the singer was still on Nickelodeon’s Victorious—about two years before the release of her first album, Yours Truly. “We met Ariana years ago when she was still on Nickelodeon, and I think it was two years before her first album,” she said. “We were one of the first people to work with her and I think she has a particular trust in us because we aren’t coming after she blew up.”
The two have built such a close relationship that Monét sends Grande any songs directly that she thinks would be good for her next album. The interview was done in 2014, so we’re sure that their relationship is only stronger now. “We just e-mail her directly with whatever song we feel she would love. We’re developing that closer friendship,” she said. “In the booth, I’m able to be honest with her and she’s honest with me. I like the creative process with her. She’s an incredible girl.”
She Opened for Grande on Her Dangerous Woman Tour
Monét was one of two opening acts for Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour in 2017. At that time, Monét had released two EPs, Nightmares & Lullabies: Act 1 and Nightmares & Lullabies: Act 2 and was preparing to release her next. (She dropped her single “Ready” while on tour with Grande.) In 2016, Grande and Monét released the ballad “Better Days” after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police brutality. The song was performed by Grande and Monét at each stop on the Dangerous Woman Tour, as well as at the One Love Manchester concert that Grande held after the 2017 bombing outside of her concert in Manchester.
She Was in the “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next” Music Video
Grande recruited several of her friends to star in the music videos for “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next,” both of which were co-written by Monét. Let’s start with “Thank U, Next,” Grande’s first number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Monét played one of the cheerleaders in the Bring It On-inspired section, along with Grande’s other close friend, Tayla Parx. Monét also sang backup for Grande for her first-ever live performance of “Thank U, Next” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But her cameo in “7 Rings” may be the most significant. As fans know, the song is about the rings Grande bought with six of her friends after her breakup with Pete Davidson. One of those friends? Monét, of course.
She’s Openly Bisexual
Monét came out as bisexual on Twitter in November 2018 when she responded to claims that she was dating someone she wasn’t. “I want everyone to know that I’m single (since people wanna pretend I’m not) and make imaginary rules for me. I secretly and respectfully went through a difficult break up this summer but enough is enough. I also like girls. Thank U, Next. Bye,” she tweeted. She also referenced a lyric from Frank Ocean’s “Chanel”, which talks about Ocean’s own sexuality: “See both sides like Chanel.”
Monét referenced her sexuality again in the lyrics for “Monopoly” with Grande, in which the two sing, “I like women and men.” The lyrics led fans to wonder if Grande was coming out as bisexual too. The “Thank U, Next” singer responded to the assumptions on Twitter, telling fans that she doesn’t feel the need to label herself: “i haven’t before and still don’t feel the need to now 🖤🧚🏼♂️ which is okay”