At first, R&B singer Monica wanted no part of reality television.
“I assumed [producers] would not want a reality show about my life as it really is, because my life is drama-free now,” said the Grammy Award-winning artist. “If they wanted drama, they would have had to have caught me 10 years ago.”
The singer, whose full name is Monica Denise Arnold, has overcome some terrible experiences.
She witnessed the suicide of a despondent boyfriend and was involved with rapper C-Murder (whose real name is Corey Miller and who is the brother of rapper Master P) when he was arrested for the shooting death of a fan.
But those times are now behind the mother of two young sons. She’s happily settled in a committed relationship with her children’s father, rapper Rocko, and currently starring in the BET show “Monica: Still Standing.” A new album is set to be released in the new year.
Video: Monica’s still standing
While she’s had success with singles like “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days),” “Angel of Mine” and her duet, “The Boy Is Mine,” with singer Brandy, the 29-year-old is looking to break through to superstar status.
“I think this is her moment,” said her cousin and longtime manager, Melinda Dancil. “People have seen ‘the artist Monica,’ but they have never really seen ‘the person Monica,’ and the person Monica is really what creates her engaging personality.”
The singer is quick to point out that “I’m not a victim, I’m a victor,” and said she wants her legacy to extend beyond just her reputation as a singer, songwriter and occasional actress.
She spoke to CNN about her career, why you won’t see her in a catfight with another female singer and what makes her emotional.
CNN: What do you hope fans take away from your new reality show?
Monica: My main objective is to show some form of strength.
I think people experience a lot, especially in this day and age, and especially young people, and people don’t normally speak directly to them.
I think they will take the idea of strength, the idea of faith and the idea of family away from it. The latter two are things that people don’t like to talk a lot about or deal a lot with, in my experience.
CNN: At what point are you in your career?
Monica: I’m at the point in my career where it’s time for me to start defining who I am as an artist.
I would love for people to look at me as a great singer, but also know exactly who I am, the way that we have loved and respected people like Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle having gone through the different stages of their lives with them. That’s the type of history I want to have.
This is the defining moment where I separate myself from others by whatever it is I do and the way that I do it.
12. My slums know it's coming real soon. It's a marathon. Remember that🕊King Slum
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13. You'z a flip ! Lol
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14. London 🏄🏾
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15. Dinwiddee VA Over 7,000 People Shit Was Something 2 Remember.... #IMissYallAlready #Plies #AintNoMixtapeBih2 (Link In Bio) #RanOffOnDaPlugTwice #RanOffOnDaPlugTwiceTour #RitzCarlton🔥
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16. Me & PND Got Some For Ya
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17. The Love Was Mad Real In San Francisco it's #moolahseason 📷 by @dionesnavalta 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #younggreatness #moolahseason #islahtour #sanfrancisco #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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18. Only if ya up.. 👑
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19. I Just Fucked Portland, Oregon Up Ask About Me It's #moolahseason 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #younggreatness #moolahseason #islahtour #portland #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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20. What if I told you there was a Taylor Gang x Slum project in the making. Would u listen?
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21. My lil homie growing up fast. Gotta get this pic framed. RIP JEFF 🙏
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22. This Shit The Trillest Birmingham, Alabama Was Crazy it's #moolahseason 📷 by @dionesnavalta 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #younggreatness #moolahseason #islahtour #alabama #birmingham #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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23. Crowd control
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25. Young Louis Johnson #fenderelite
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28. Free TC tour
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29. Richmond, Va Was Lit Last Night Word for Word its #MoolahSeason 📷 by @unkutcinematics 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥#younggreatness #MoolahSeason #richmond #virginia #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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30. Salute To My Niggas @jeezy and @akon for bringing me out in my city tonight I will never forget this its #MoolahSeason 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #younggreatness #MoolahSeason #neworleans #easterjam #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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31. Just be doin me! Don't really care what everybody else doin! 📷 @nickbrazinsky
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32. "They Screaming Moolah When I Walk In The Building The Young Boi Make A Killing" Recap Of Diamond Awards It's #moolahseason 📷 @niqko 🏆 #younggreatness #moolahseason #jacksonville #florida #diamondawards #breakthroughartistoftheyear #moolah #QCTHALABEL
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33. Hand stand on Rotterdam 🤘🏽😆🤘🏽
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34. Anytime U Pay Your Money U Deserve Da BEST!!!! #BiloxiMS #Plies #AintNoMixtapeBih2 (Link In Bio) #RanOffOnDaPlugTwice #RanOffOnDaPlugTwiceTour #RitzCarlton🔥
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35. You really don't wanna see these two clocked In the studio. Real issues.King Slum
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36. Much love to @979thebeat! Had Fun today at the Grambling Vs. PV game! #BeatUpTheBlock
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37. Sold Out Show at Mississippi State after they just beat Auburn! Number 1 Team in the Country Now! They went up All night! #BeatUpTheBlock #MississippiStateUniversity
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38. Dallas! 2night meant ALOT 2 Me! The Love was Phenomenal! I appreciate every bit of it! #BeatUpTheBlock #TexasRapfest Photo by @QuickMixx!!!
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39. Show Season! Booking in Bio! #TexaFornia! @HazeMusicGroup
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40. It's these Moments that makes it all worth it!
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41. Last Nite
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43. Ask @KennyBurns about Japanese
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44. Reppin the 3rd coast on the West coast wit @urbanstashspotclothing x @satellitesupply #HoustonOiler
55. Cookin in the studio today 💯 finna get this music out there for y'all 🙌 stay tuned 🙏
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56. Cookin in the studio today 💯 finna get this music out there for y'all 🙌 stay tuned 🙏
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57. Me and Aunt Viv on the same thing today 😭😂 #MerryBRUHMas #MERRYCHRISTMAS
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58. Me and Aunt Viv on the same thing today 😭😂 #MerryBRUHMas #MERRYCHRISTMAS
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59. Down w whateva.
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60. Told my lady look at me everyday like the girl n the 2nd row look at me.. 😬King Slum
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61. One of those feelings you can't explain. I love my fans & supporters. If you fxck w my campaign comment. "King Slum"
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62. Da Face U Make When She Show U Dat Lil Pwussy Got Some Power..... #Plies #AintNoMixtapeBih2 (Link In Bio) #RanOffOnDaPlugTwice #RanOffOnDaPlugTwiceTour #RitzCarlton🔥
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63. I Stay In My Own Lane..... S/O 2 Everybody Over @ XXL Magazine.... #Plies #AintNoMixtapeBih2 (Link In Bio) #RanOffOnDaPlugTwice #RanOffOnDaPlugTwiceTour #RitzCarlton🔥
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64. I Owe This 1 🏆 To All of Y'all , As Of Today #LateNightsTheAlbum Is RIAA Certified Gold. Even Through The NYE Ball Drop ,Three Months Later.. It Was All Worth It. Thanx To Every Producer/Writer/Artist/Engineer That Helped Me Create This. To Mih Fans I Truly Love & Appreciate Each And Every 1 Of You , I Gotchu! 500,000,000 Streams?? True Testament That Without Y'all I'm Really Nothin ' 🔑 #BlessUpPlaqueUp #GoldMember #LateNights < #LaterThatNight 🌚♋️
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