Billboard caught up with a slew of celebrities like Monica on Saturday (Feb. 3) as they walked the carpet outside of Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys gala. The singer was in good spirits as she showed up arm in arm with her teenage son, Romelo.
To the delight of her fans, she told reporter Tetris Kelly that the wait for new music is finally almost over after a few false starts in recent years. “I know the fans have been exceptionally frustrated with me, but I come from an era where… we work on it ’til we get it right,” said the Grammy Award winner.
“And we’ve had a lot of things happen in our family — we lost another one of my mother’s brothers, and they were influential in raising me and being there for me, and just as life happens, I step away. They are my first priority; my mother is my first priority. It’s God, then family and the rest follows, so things are starting to align, and you know if I’m here, something’s coming,” she added.
Last year during a performance, Monica teased fans about two albums that were completed and set to be released by the end of 2023. “I’m sure you’ve seen me getting a hard time about this album not being out yet. Before I go any further, I wanna say that Trenches, the album, is done. It is ready. Also, my country album, Open Roads, is done. I got a few things that I wanna add. I have been doing what I got to do, but I have been balancing because one thing for all of us is that life just keeps life-ing,” said the Atlanta actress. Trenches would be her first R&B album since 2015’s Code Red, while Open Roads would mark her foray into country music.
Elsewhere in her red carpet chat with Billboard, Monica revealed that her name is among those who were added to the 2024 Lovers & Friends festival lineup without a confirmed booking. “I’m looking forward to the festival. I’m thinking that maybe someone will call me and actually book me the correct way,” said the Atlanta native. “I don’t have any beef with them — we did great business before, so if you give me a call, we can work it out. Hey, you put me on the flyer… This is not me plugging me. It just seems like maybe someone wants me there, so give me a call.”
The-Dream, Juvenile and Mary J. Blige have each spoken out about flyers that listed them as performers. Though, soon after, Blige and the festival both confirmed that booking issues were cleared up and that she would in fact be in attendance. The musical event is slated for May 4 in Las Vegas.