Story highlightsThe pair posted tributes to Houston.

The singer and former duet partner Monica were part of an Internet firestorm Wednesday on what would have been Whitney Houston’s 54th birthday.

On an Instagram posting of a photo of Houston, Monica wrote “Happy Heavenly Birthday Nippy … You still inspire many & touch hearts daily… You will forever be the greatest …. You will forever be missed.”

Not to be outdone, Brandy followed up with a collage of images of her and Houston, with whom she co-starred in a 1997 remake of “Cinderella.”

“Happy Born Day Whitney. You live on in me… I can feel your Spirit inside of me and all around me,” Brandy wrote.

Others saw it as a shady swipe at Monica, with whom Brandy famously sang the 1998 song “The Boy is Mine” – which cast them as rivals for the same guy.

“It’s so much stuff I can post about the hateful things they say to me… but I will never have time for that,” Brandy wrote.

“Me and Whitney have nothing to do with anyone but the two of us,” added Brandy, who also did three other Houston tributes on her Instagram.