Monica and Brandy. (Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup/Getty Images)
With that said, it was a long, painful road to friendship. For Monica, it was the suicide of her boyfriend Jarvis Weems in 2000, and the quickie divorce from rapper Rocko — the father of her two sons Rodney, 7, and Romelo, 4 — in 2009 after she discovered he had cheated on her. During that same time, Brandy, 33, had given birth to her daughter Sy'rai, now 9, with producer Robert Smith. The two split in 2003, and it was later revealed they had lied about being married. She then had another failed engagement to NBA player Quentin Richardson. "We were only seeing each other in passing as we were working doing different things," says Monica. "But I think as I experienced certain stuff, she did as well, and we started having these real in-depth conversations, especially once we had children … that really brought our friendship full circle. Now, we're spending regular time together, so we can talk about what our kids love, joking and friendly, which is something we never had the opportunity to do before. So in promoting this record I think there's been a great friendship established."
"It All Belongs to Me" is the lead single off Monica's latest album, New Life (available
The Browns with her sons Rodney and Romelo. (Moses Robinson/WireImage_
Of course, Monica credits Brown, 26, as her muse for many of the songs on New Life. Her favorite track about her husband, "About You," was brought to her by her cousin and producer, Polow da Don. "I think for him, he wanted to help me find and create a song that would say exactly how I feel about my husband," she notes. Her other favorite? "Man Who Has Everything," which she says "speaks volumes to the fact that nowadays people are so hung up on being materialistic. They think material things make you complete. This song just says you can have everything, but the one thing that is most important is the one thing money can't buy, and that's love. You don't have everything if you don't have that."
Now that Monica does have that, she's enjoying every minute. She says she hopes the newlywed phase never diminishes, just like it hasn't for her own parents. And she also plans to have "several" more kids. She and Brown, who split their time between Atlanta and Phoenix, have a blended family: her two sons from her first marriage and his son Shannon from an ex-girlfriend. "I think what makes it great is that our youngest two are the same age," she tells omg!. "We have two 4-year-olds in the house and my 7-year-old, Rodney, is the oldest, so he acts very much like the big brother. The youngest two, they have a ball with one another. The boys are all in close enough age that they enjoy the same things … They recognize that we love them, we don't pay attention to who biologically belongs to who. They all belong to us."
More Celebrity Features on Yahoo!:
- Monica Evolves On 'New Life,' Sings About Husband
- Justin Bieber: I'm Just Trying to Make Selena Happy
- Usher Falls Victim to Internet Death Hoax