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Why Singer Monica Gave Her Mom Her Entire Talent Show Winnings at Age 9

Grammy Award-winning singer Monica, boasting an estimated net worth of $8 million, opened up during the “The Shop Uninterrupted Live Tour” podcast recently about a pivotal moment in her life.

Monica (Photo via Instagram,

At the tender age of nine, she took the stage and sang Whitney Houston’s iconic track “Greatest Love of All” for a talent show.

The victory in that competition earned her a prize of $1,000. But she didnt keep the money for herself.

A Special Gift

“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 said on the podcast. “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.”

Monica said earning the prize money was not her main objective.

“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.”

Monica’s family-first mentality has been evident throughout her career, which started when she released her first album at age 12.

Monica has gone on to sell over 25 million albums worldwide. In 1998, she collaborated with Brandy Norwood on the hit song “The Boy Is Mine,” which topped the charts in multiple countries, earning Platinum twice and winning a Grammy award.

In 2010, Billboard listed Monica at number 24 on its list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years.

Having been in the business for three decades, in 2022, the now 42-year-old Monica released the single “Friends,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. The song became her first top-40 hit on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart in three years. In 2023, she reteamed with singer James Fortune on the duet “Trusting God” on Fortune’s FIYA World Entertainment. It reached the top 30 on the US Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. “Letters,” a single co-written Monica, Ciara and others, was released through her own label, Mondeenise Music, in June.

Fame, Fortune and Divorce

The singer shares a daughter, Laiyah, with her ex-husband, former Los Angeles Laker Shannon Brown. Her two sons’ father is rapper Rodney “Rocko” Hill, to whom she was previously engaged for five years.

From May 2009 to February 2016, Monica lived in an Atlanta mansion equipped with six bedrooms; she originally paid $420,500.

The 6,288-square-foot home was on the market for $550,000, but she lowered the price and sold it for $450,000 in February 2017.

Following her divorce from Brown in 2019, the artist was required to leave her Fayetteville, Georgia, home as Brown had been granted ownership in the settlement; she reportedly was given six months to vacate the property. Court documents reportedly show that neither Brown nor Monica, who retains custody of her three children, receive any form of alimony or spousal support from one another.

However, she did retain ownership of two high-end vehicles: a 2018 Maybach Mercedes and a 2016 Range Rover.

These days, Monica is keeping busy with her own radio show, “MoTalk,” which debuted earlier this summer on Apple Music.

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