Known for her powerful voice and bold expressiveness, Mónica Naranjo is a pop and classical crossover singer/songwriter from Spain whose popularity extends from Europe to the Americas. Her music is dynamic, often leaning toward cutting-edge dance music. Her popularity peaked in the late '90s with the release of Palabra de Mujer (1997), though she has retained a hardcore following ever since, even after taking years off between albums, as was the case with Tarántula (2008), her first album of all-original material in seven years. While Naranjo released a par of albums in 2009, she took an even longer break from the studio. The following year the singer released two comic books: the semi-autobiographical Amor y Lujo, and the science fiction Todo Mentira, as well as a cookbook. While Naranjo performed concerts, and appeared on television, she didn't issue another studio offering until 2016's Lubna; it topped the Spanish album charts, and was certified platinum.
Born on May 23, 1974, in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Naranjo made her recording debut at a young age, releasing Monica Naranjo in 1994 on Sony. Produced by Cristóbal Sansano, the self-titled album proved popular in Latin America as well as Europe, spawning a series of hit singles including "El Amor Coloca," "Sola," and "Sólo Se Vive una Vez." The follow-up, Palabra de Mujer (1997), was an even greater success, particularly in Spain. Again produced by Cristóbal Sansano, Palabra de Mujer spawned another round of hit singles including "Desátame," "Pantera en Libertad," "Las Campanas del Amor," and "Entender el Amor."
Naranjo's third album, Minage (2000), marked a change in her career trajectory. Following two multi-million-selling international smash hit albums, the singer/songwriter released a decidedly uncommercial album, a full-fledged tribute to Italian diva Mina Mazzini. While her record label wasn't especially pleased with her decision to release such an album, just as some of her fans weren't thrilled with her turn away from commercial pop, Minage still sold over a million copies worldwide, spawned a few hits, most notably "Sobreviviré," and remains a favorite of many fans.
In contrast to Minage, Chicas Malas (2001), Naranjo's fourth album, is a dance-pop album through and through. Her most collaborative effort to date, it includes the singles "Chicas Malas," "Sacrificio," "No Voy a Llorar," and "Ain't Better Like This." An English-language version, Bad Girls, was released in 2003. After a couple more years, Colección Privada (2005), a greatest-hits collection featuring a new single, "Enamorada de Ti," was released. Not until 2008 — a long seven years since Chicas Malas, her last album of all-original material — did Naranjo release her next album, Tarántula. Led by the smash hit comeback single "Europa," Tarántula was an all-around success, topping the Spanish charts and garnering acclaim from fans as well as critics. A tour followed, which resulted in Adagio, a CD/DVD release featuring recordings from the tour. By early 2013, Naranjo was putting the final touches on her sixth studio album, Lubna. In the interim, she released 4.0 in 2014. It was a stopgap collection of "electrorock reworkings" — essentially elaborate remixes — of some of her hits. In 2015, "Jamás," the first pre-release single from Lubna was issued and reached number two in Spain. In early January, "Fin" was released as a second pre-release, followed at the end of the month by Lubna and its third track, "Perdida." Both the singles and the album reached number one on their respective Spanish charts. That same year she served as a juror for the national reality television competition Operación Triunfor.
In 2019, Naranjo debuted her new television show called Monica y el Sexo (Sex and Monica) on which the performer talks openly about her divorce from her husband of 16 years and her bisexuality. "Tu y Yo y el Loco Amor" was released as the title song on the soundtrack for a film of the same name. She started working on the multi-part EP project, Mes Excentricités, Vol. 1. The first single, entitled "Le Psiquiatrique" was released in the middle of 2019 while the track "Doble Corazón" was issued during Madrid's annual Gay Pride Parade. She also starred in the reality show La Isla de las Tentaciones. In November, Naranjo issued Renaissance, her sixth compilation and a precursor to a two-year tour. The album entered the Spanish album charts at number one. ~ Jason Birchmeier