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Monica promotes finale of her BET show, sympathizes with Chris Brown, Mike Vick

MonicaStillStanding

While Atlanta R&B singer  Monica can emote with the best of them when she sings, she’s no drama queen on TV.

“I didn’t want a show filled with a lot of drama,” she explained over a burger and fries at the Glenn Hotel downtown last week to promote the finale of her BET show “Monica: Still Standing.” “I wanted a show to remind a lot of young people that you can make it through anything if you believe first in yourself.”

At age 29, she comes across as level-headed and shrewd, with a supportive family.

Her mom, for instance, has a hard time accepting anything from Monica and hated being on camera. “I bought her a Benz once,” she said. “She bought a Honda, never drives the Benz. She’s not a flashy person.”

The show focused mostly on her efforts to put together a new album. The big debate was over a first singe: a dance tune or a ballad. Monica wanted a ballad, her bread and butter. The label preferred something more upbeat because radio tends to embrace those songs more, especially as the first single off the album.

In the end, they had the fans decide: they chose a ballad after all: “Everything to Me,” which just shipped to radio. V-103 began playing it a few days ago.  It was produced by Missy Elliott. “The people spoke,” she said. Ballads are “closer to my heart.”

“They don’t want me Auto-Tuned,” she added.

Monica was inspired to do the show by being on Keyshia Cole’s BET show a couple years back. “She’s my youngest son’s godmother,” she said. “I understood it was great for her… I’m older than she is. I’ve experienced different things. But we are in the exact same places.” She is happy to see Keyshia’s mom and sister Frankie and Neffe with their own show: “They can stand on their own and she can on the birth of her first son, things I’ve experienced a couple of times over.”

She’s also close to Tameka “Tiny” Cottle from “Tiny and Toya.” “Our mothers lived one street over for years,” she said. And she’s buds with Kandi Burruss of “Real Housewives” fame. “I love Kandi’s mom,” she said. “She’s always open and honest with us as young women. She’s always been candid, even when we were younger, before all of us were on reality TV.”

Monica naturally defends reality shows, even if she admits there are a plethora following female R&B singers. (VH1 last week debuted shows about label-mate Fantasia and Salt-n-Pepa’s Sandra Denton known as Pepa.) “You can truly get to know intimate details you don’t get to see when listening to an album. That’s the plus about reality.”

The final episode was just taped a few weeks ago. The show originally wrapped a few months ago but BET wanted four new episodes on top of the original eight.

Her show opened big after the BET Hip Hop Awards in October (2.8 million) but quickly fell to just 613,000 by episode three. Overall, she hasn’t gotten boffo ratings compared to “Keyshia Cole” or “Tiny & Toya,” but after several episodes below 1 million viewers, she did rebound January 5 (the most recent numbers I have) to 1.2 million. She said she is in talks with BET for a second season.

BET sister station VH1, which has a much broader audience, played a “Still Standing” marathon over Christmas. “A BET executive said this was positive energy they wanted to see on another station,” she said.

“When you do something positive, it can be mistaken for being boring,” Monica said. “I’d happily take that than contributing to what people face every day already. We have our own drama. Personally, I don’t want to see that every single day on television.”

The final episode features Monica giving props to her heroine Mary J. Blige at an awards show. She said she gets teary — but not in a “cute way” but that “ugly cry,” she said, with a laugh.

She is the type of person who won’t necessarily forgive a bad act but will give people another chance if they are willing to try to change. She supports both R&B singer Chris Brown (”he’s like a younger brother”) and former Falcon Mike Vick for that reason. Producer James DuBose, who worked on her show, is also doing a show on Vick. “I’ve seen clips,” she said. “He’s really fighting to redeem himself. I don’t condone the acts, but at some point, we need forgiveness.”

“A lot of people,” she added, “don’t forgive until it’s their time to seek forgiveness. I look at it as karma. I’m a firm believer in Christ. I think he forgives.”

She said in the 1990s, there was no TMZ and gossip sites. “Plenty went down we got away with,” she said. “Myself, Brandy Aaliyah.”

Monica did throw out a secret passion if she hadn’t gone into music. “I wanted to be a homicide detective,” she said. “I even started my studies.” But she couldn’t juggle both. Instead, she watches crime shows galore such as A&E’s “The First 48″ and “Crime 360.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

I’m on vacation this week so there will be no breaking news updates. (I wrote this before I left and had it posted later) I’ll be back on January 25.

25 comments Add your comment

Slim

January 19th, 2010
7:18 am

FIRST…..Love Monica and I love the song….peace….

Smile4me

January 19th, 2010
9:22 am

I don’t think she said she sympathies with them. But because of her religion she knows that forgiveness is the only way. I understand where she is coming from and i agree.

war eagle

January 19th, 2010
1:31 pm

Religion clouds judgement. Bet her religion would have forgiven Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Robert Mugabee, and Saddam hussein.

just dumb

January 19th, 2010
3:07 pm

Another dumb f$ck that sympathizes with a woman beater….. does she support r kelly too…. this is shameful !!!!!

Jc

January 19th, 2010
3:08 pm

Where is Joyce Littel fromV-103?…..Rodney Ho…plaese get on the case

just dumb

January 19th, 2010
3:10 pm

monica do ur dumb ass sympathize with osama bin laden ????? his human too right

Name

January 19th, 2010
3:57 pm

Christianity: The belief that a Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Jemma

January 19th, 2010
4:03 pm

Some of you post here condemning Monica sympathizing with people you call animals, yet your language suggests that you might be the animals. I think that these incidences have given a lot of people to do what they’ve been wanting to do all along-ridicule and bash black men. Trust me, when white men do it, you hear about it for a few days and it disappears, a la Charlie Sheen, whose rap sheet is a mile long, but he has the most popular show on TV, or Sean Penn, who beat every woman who crosses his path and just won an Academy.

christiana

January 19th, 2010
4:51 pm

yall leave em alone OK…evryone makes mistake…..if u was chris or mike how would u feel if u apologize a thousand tame nd still no one cares….jst thnk bout da before u judge ppl

Amber

January 19th, 2010
5:12 pm

Oh Jemma! I wasn’t going touch on race at all in my response…but you’re response comment has inspired me lol. You are right on the money with your Charlie Sheen example. All I’ve thought of recently is the media’s blatant double standards with regards to the Sheen vs. Brown situation. I am by no means ignoring Brown’s issues (he bit his girlfriend!). But Sheen attacked the mother of his child with a knife and he recived the equivalent of a slap on the wrist while Brown is still ostracized by radio stations and past fans alike. I’ve been desperately trying to find a reason other than race for this hypocrisy, but the only difference between the two other than skin color is age. And as Sheen is about 30 years Brown’s senior he should be held to an even higher standard! Charlie Sheen has a history of shooting and threatening girlfriends. Chris Brown is a 19 year old with an otherwise spotless record. Do the math America.

alexis

January 19th, 2010
6:20 pm

DAMN CHRIS BROWN NOR MIKE VICK..U CANT COMPARE NEITHER ONE OF THEM TO SADAM HUSSEIN. .OR HITLER..WHAT THEY DID DOES NOT COMPARE TO THAT DUMB ASSESS….I LOVE CHRIS BROWN AND MIKE VICK…

TabbyJ

January 19th, 2010
6:44 pm

Good for you Monica, I agree…..The first posters are uneducated idiots! Hitler, Sadam Hussein? SMDH

Genesis

January 19th, 2010
10:31 pm

I agree with Monica and I love people who have the spirit to know that like Chris,they are imperfect…..The people that need to be watched are those that think they can judge others.

I also feel that much of what Chris has dealt with is based primarily on racism because the same people that have venom for Chris are silent when it comes to older white men like Sheen,Slater and Penn who have committed the act repeatedly…….

Well anywho……Chris was invited to Milan for fashion week and he’s looking and doing well so congrats to Chris………

ashley

January 20th, 2010
1:28 am

I feel like what Chris did was very wrong but I feel that he is trying to fix that angry he has inside of him I’m glad it happen at a young age so it doesn’t happen again I feel like America has put so much energy into his situation but have not yet talk about how Tiger wife abuse him with a golf club only that tiger cheated I believe it’s race and they only made domestic violence onesided since Chris incident I have not heard about dv on tv shows regarding a non celeb. Unlike like charlie or penn who have a history have not been blackmailed nor banned I’m confused because I watched the view and the same ladies who were going at Chris for his violent actions were saying that charlie acts r all allegations really whoopi it doesn’t take a brainy to know that 4 DIFFERENT woman have came forward to say he abuse me

ellis

January 20th, 2010
7:26 am

thank god people are now realising the racist rant.go jugde penn,sheen,slater and nicholson.

nola

January 20th, 2010
8:42 am

For those who need an understanding of God’s view of forgiveness, go read Matthew 18 in the Bible. There is no hierarchy of sin in God’s eyes; a murder is counted as one sin just as telling a false witness is counted as one sin. Therefore the sins of Mike Vick or Chris Brown are counted no higher in God’s eyes than another person lying on your taxes.

I appreciate Monica for her understanding heart and beautiful voice. Everyone should offer forgiveness because you cannot forsee what bad decisions will affect your life and you may have to seek forgiveness from others too.

Tigers Wood

January 20th, 2010
11:39 am

“She is the type of person who won’t necessarily forgive a bad act but will give people another chance if they are willing to try to change”….

Hey Monica, I eat babies but I’m trying to change (IT’S A BAD HABBIT)…WOULD YOU GIVE ME A SECOND CHANCE?

Bebi

January 20th, 2010
2:58 pm

I find it sad that her show didn’t have better ratings. Granted, she’s not exactly a role model (two kids out of wedlock) but she is trying to lead a positive life. I enjoyed her show and her family is normal not completely “extra” like some other family members on reality shows.

Sit N Spin

January 20th, 2010
3:29 pm

Monica? Does Monica have a last name, or does she think she is that famous, it does not matter?

Monica? Get back in the kitchen and do your chores!

Chris

January 20th, 2010
3:29 pm

live and learn. the chris brown incident happened not even an entire year ago. and he is sorry for what he did. will i buy his album? most likely not… him and rhianna both put out records cause their names were among some of the msot talked about last year, so they rushed to put out CD’s. but my point is that, he is sorry for what happened, and he is working on becoming a better person…

has saddam or hitler or any of those others TRIED to make ammends? they took human lives!

now mike vick… i have no respect for him. he took the lives of helpless animals. and he might be trying to become a better person. but he will soon have to face judgment from a higher source

Monica is one of the most consistent artists out today. she has been in the game for almost 2 decades, and still amazes us with her love and flare for singing. not to mention, she does this to keep her fans happy.

Monica has kept her cool, she hasnt shaved her head of publicity. she doesnt make her kids do anything o nthe tv show, that they dont wanna do. she doesnt have to remove any clothes to make herself feel sexier or to catch the attention of the public.

thats y monicas fanbase is as strong as it is. she doesnt have to hide or cover up who she truly is. and us as fans truly respect that =)

sonia

January 21st, 2010
7:59 am

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged!
and
Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone
I think I love Monica and her positive attitude and energy she brings to the show. There is no one free from this thing called life. we call have issues, we have not arrived yet, if so would be with our heavily father I believe we all need to pray for one another, Vick, Tiger Woods.. Again no one is free from this thing called life. We all have issues and if you think you don’t, let’s go back into the closet and see what comes out… Yes indeed athletes, singers, owners, even the president we all have issues, but one thing we all have in common we are all people just trying to live… but there is something else we have in common… one day you and I will have to leave this place, some sooner than others, what will they say about you, what will your life Intel.. how will you spend it here, helping someone or hurting some … the bottom line is you/I will have to give an account to everything that we have done… no one is getting away with anything its all being recorded in the book of life…

phoenix falcon

January 22nd, 2010
12:26 pm

bgf

January 22nd, 2010
1:28 pm

great show! Very pleased to see this smart , understanding young LADY!! Keep it up ! I agree with yiu on the Vick and Brown issue! Pleas come back for another season !! You are the most beautiful black and classy lady on tv!!

NNJ

January 24th, 2010
7:14 pm

First, she is not dumb. As she said, she does not condone the act. but every person has the right to try && change && get better. when you do something wrong && there are cnosequences, or you’ve hurt someone, you want forgiveness as well. when you do wrong, there are consequences for your actions plain && simple. that doesn’t mean you don’t forgive. && it doesn’t matter whether it’s Chris Brown or Hitler, woman beating or murder…sin is still SIN, wrong is still WRONG. period.I agree with sonia. Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone. we all have done wrong && constantly need to ask for forgiveness. For everyone that has something negative to say, take a look at yourself && see how many times you’ve wanted forgiveness, && see do you really deserve it.

..............

January 24th, 2010
10:02 pm

honestly, i dont know if Monica will read this, but im hoping so..Being a 19yrs old like she was 10yrs. ago im going thru some ups and downs and this is the time that im really leaning on God. Sometimes i get in those moments that i want to give up and then i listen to “STILL STANDING” and i’ve came to reality that people have been thru more than i have and still have made it thru(Monica)..i just wanted to say that she is truely my idol and i appreciate her music and her as a person.