Editors’ Notes For Black History Month, as we honor family in its many forms, we’re celebrating Black women, the matriarchal torchbearers of so much rich cultural beauty. To help soundtrack the month, Monica—who carries the DNA of icons past and has become a giant in her own right—has curated a playlist of her inspirations young and old. Her selections are a contemporary look at some of pop and R&B’s most prestigious singers and the tracks that have embedded themselves in the fabric of the music that followed. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” stands out as a song that became a bridge between one towering matriarch and the generations she would inspire. “Whitney reached all, and this stellar performance touched me deeply,” Monica tells Apple Music. “I began singing this song at nine years old and was signed at 11 years old singing it. The lyrics, the melody, and the message made this record a stand-alone that pushed me vocally and reminded us all that our children are definitely our future.” In her handpicked playlist, she looks to both the past and the present to include not only the towering women on whose shoulders so many stand but the artists who carry on their legacy. If you hear something you like, be sure to save it to your library.