Who is Victoria Monét? Meet Grammy-winning songwriter-turned-star up for best new artist

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Newly minted Grammy winner Victoria Monét won the award for best new artist, but she's not a music industry novice.

The Atlanta-born, Sacramento-raised creamy voice behind the R&B hit "On My Mama" has worked since 2010 as a songwriter, penning tracks for artists including T.I., Blackpink, Chloe x Halle and, most prominently, Ariana Grande.

"I just want to say to everybody who has a dream. I want you to look at this as an example," she said while accepting the award for best new artist, noting her 15-year pursuit of recognition.

Monét added: "My roots have been growing underneath ground, unseen for so long. And I feel like today, I'm sprouting."

While Monét, 34, scored record and album of the year nominations at the 2020 Grammys for her songs with Grande, it’s her breakout studio album, "Jaguar II," released in August, and singles "How Does it Make You Feel," "Hollywood" and the slinky brass-bleating "On My Mama" that are storming this year's awards.

Monét, born Victoria Monét McCants, came into Sunday's awards ceremony with seven Grammy nominations — behind only SZA with nine — and in the pre-show awards, she won best R&B album and best engineered album for "Jaguar II" but lost traditional R&B performance to PJ Morton.

Here's more about the singer-songwriter and her breakout year.

More: Who is Jelly Roll? A look at his journey from prison to best new artist Grammy nominee

What songs did Victoria Monét write for other artists?

Victoria Monet is nominated for seven Grammy Awards in 2024, including best new artist.
Victoria Monet is nominated for seven Grammy Awards in 2024, including best new artist.

Monét ‘s career started with a meeting with super-producer Rodney Jerkins (Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez), who enlisted her for his girl group, Purple Reign. When the outfit was dropped from their label, Monét nosed around the industry as a songwriter and worked on a track for Diddy-Dirty Money (“I Hate That You Love Me”) in 2010.

Her writing career, which Monét says she pursued as a way to earn a living until solo performer opportunities blossomed, yielded fruitful results. Monét’s resume includes songs for Blackpink and Selena Gomez (“Ice Cream”); T.I., B.o.B. and Kendrick Lamar (“Memories Back Then”); Chris Brown (“Everlasting Love”); Nas (“You Wouldn’t Understand”), Chloe x Halle (“Do It”) and Brandy (“Rather Be”).

But her most successful pairing has been with Grande, who teamed with Monét in 2019 for their Billboard Hot 100 hit – Monét’s first as an artist – for “Monopoly.”

What is the history between Victoria Monét and Ariana Grande?

While Grande helped Monét achieve chart success, Monét has impacted Grande’s music since her 2013 debut album, “Yours Truly.”

Monét co-wrote “My Everything,” “Moonlight,” “Goodnight n Go” with Grande, but their most sizable collaboration came on Grande’s 2018 album, “Thank U, Next.” In addition to the title track, Monét was involved with the songs “7 Rings,” “Needy,” “Ghostin’” and “Make Up” on the Grammy-nominated release.

Victoria Monet
Victoria Monet

Her tenure with Grande extended to 2020’s “Positions” album and five of its songs, including “34+35,” “Love Language” and “Nasty.”

In a 2023 interview with New York magazine’s Vulture, Monét said she never specifically sat down with Grande to discuss advice about the music industry, but instead, she learned through her own experiences.

“I was a person who didn’t go to college. I just jumped into the field. I think that’s how I learned the best: just going into it and navigating it in real time,” Monét said. “I learned the most from my own mistakes, not to take certain things personally or learning what’s actually owed or what the right thing is to do.”

Is Victoria Monét a mom?

Monét, who identifies as bisexual, gave birth to daughter Hazel in February 2021. The baby’s father is Monét’s boyfriend, John Gaines.

Hazel is already making history as the youngest-ever Grammy nominee for her feature on “Hollywood,” the “Jaguar II” track that also features Monét’s musical idols, Earth, Wind & Fire, and was nominated for a traditional R&B performance award.

But it’s “On My Mama,” somewhat motivated by Hazel, that Monét wrote as “a big message generationally,” she recently told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings.”

The song was recorded about six weeks after Hazel’s birth and Monét said she needed inspiration.

“I was recording lots of songs I didn’t feel confident about. My voice had changed, I didn’t know what to write about, I’m here with a new baby breastfeeding in the studio, what do I say?,” she told King, adding that she struggled with postpartum depression. “I had to step out of myself and say, ‘What would Victoria need to hear from someone else?’ It became a mantra to speak things into existence.”

Meet the other best new artist nominees

Contributing: Naledi Ushe

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Victoria Monét, songwriter turned seven-time Grammy winner?