In an ever-evolving industry, Monica takes pride in staying true to herself and has from the very beginning.

Since the release of her first album at the tender age of 12, the R&B songstress has been able to navigate through her career as a recording artist with grace and poise. She says authenticity is how she does it.

Humble Beginnings

“I would love to be able to tell a story about a strategy or plan,” Monica told Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera, hosts of “The Shop,” during a live taping of the podcast in Atlanta, GA, alongside rapper Quavo and retired NBA player Lou Williams. “Our family’s from Newnan, Georgia, by way of the Southside. I was born here. I was 9 years old singing the ‘Greatest Love Of All,’ and my motivation at the time was my mother was getting married and we got in my cousin’s 280Z Datsun in the dead of the heat in the summertime with no air conditioning.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Shop UNINTERRUPTED (@theshopun)

At the time, the singer had one thing in mind, to win a local talent show where the grand prize was $1,000.

She sang the aforementioned Whitney Houston classic, and while the rest is history, this laid the foundation for Monica always keeping a “family first” mentality, despite the pressures of appeasing others as an entertainer.

Family First

During the Atlanta stop for UNITERRUPTED’s “The Shop” live tour, Monica explained how she’s been committed to looking out for those who have always supported her, including her mother, who ultimately was the motivation for the $1,000 prize money that she walked away with at the age of 9.

“Oh, my mother was getting married I just wanted to give it to her, we just wanted to give it to her, and we did,” Monica shared. “Then, just everything I’ve always done, I’ve always looked at it as it was my job to take care of those who took care of me and that was my mama.”

She continued, “So I got the thousand dollars. That was the goal. But, what I learned in those moments is that there’s a plan for all of our lives, and it’s orchestrated by somebody bigger than every person in this room. And, what was meant to happen was for my life to change that day, and I was able to really enjoy my career because I didn’t have any expectations. I was not looking at stats, I was not worried about the noise.”

Now, Monica continues to take care of her family, but this time she does so as a mother of three children of her own.

As AFROTECH previously told you, following her eldest son Rodney’s graduation from high school, she presented him with $1,800 to have fun with and celebrate his accomplishments.

What’s more, the “Why I Love You So Much” crooner also presented him with $18,000 to map out his business plan for the future.

Remaining authentic and keeping the family first continues to be Monica’s recipe for success at age 42.