Monica Is A Mortician? And 9 Other Famous Black Women With Very Interesting Side Hustles

November 12, 2018  |  
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Monica mortician

Monica attends the 2016 VH1 Hip Hop HNEW YORK, NY – JULY 11: Singer Monica attends the 2016 VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) onors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City.

Monica Brown is a singer, wife, mother and now, a reality TV star thanks to her appearances on T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle. But what you may not have known (we certainly didn’t) is that when she’s not on stage performing, spending time with her family or filming the show with her famous friends, she is a mortician. At least, that’s what she claims in the sneak peek of this week’s new episode of the hit VH1 show.

In clips from Monday night’s episode, the 38-year-old is seen helping to prop up a pillow in a funeral home and speaking with another mortician.

“When I’m there, I’m not Monica the artist,” she said. “I’m a mortician.”

Crazy, right? But not necessarily unique. We all know that fellow Georgia native Phaedra Parks also started delving in death before she was booted from Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s even reportedly done a few celebrity funerals.

As for Brown, back in 2014, after posting a picture of herself in scrubs, it was speculated that she was studying nursing. She actually gave a possible hint to the idea that she might be studying mortuary science while talking about offering “closure for families after the unfortunate loss of loved ones” while clarifying that she was not doing nursing.

“I have a GREAT respect for nurses. They tirelessly give of themselves to help others,” she wrote on Twitter. “I didn’t speak on my field but we to [sic] must wear scrubs. I’ve always loved forensics, we focus on answers & closure for families after the unfortunate loss of loved ones.”

“I’m in school and studying,” she said at the time about juggling family responsibilities with furthering her education. “Just different field & yes it’s difficult but w/ God & family support I do it.”

We’ll have to tune in to Monday night’s episode to understand fully what the “So Gone” singer is really up to outside of music. But she’s not alone in having a side hustle that is far from the type of work she does in the entertainment industry. Hit the flip to check out 9 other women turning hobbies they are passionate about into opportunities to make some mean green.

Rachel True

ISELIN, NJ – MARCH 02: Rachel True attends the 2018 New Jersey Horror Con & Film Festival at Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel on March 2, 2018 in Iselin, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Rachel True

For The Craft fans, this might not seem that far off, but the actress is a tarot card reader at the House of Intuition in L.A. (According to LA Weekly, they paid $40 for a 15-minute private reading, so…cha-ching!) It’s something she’s been studying since the ’90s.

“I find that a lot of people have a misconception that there is something heavy or dark about it. And honestly it is just cards with archetypes on them,” she said. “The tricky thing that I think people miss is the cards aren’t magic; what they do is they help you — they hopefully help you — lock into your own intuition.”

Iyanla Vanzant

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JULY 07: Iyanla Vanzant speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)

Iyanla Vanzant

When she’s not fixing lives, Vanzant is making soap and a whole host of bath and body products. In fact, she teamed up with the Home Shopping Network to sell her line called MasterPeace Body Therapy. The purpose of the line isn’t far off from what Vanzant is about in general: “MasterPeace products work to transform daily bathing into a life-affirming spiritual practice that promotes clarity, raises consciousness and realigns the body’s subtle energy fields.”

Angela SImmons

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 01: Angela Simmons attends Made In America – Day 2 on September 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage)

Angela Simmons

Simmons went from working out to look and feel good and encouraging others to do the same through her hashtag, #builtnotbought, to actually putting on Built Not Bought fitness workshops that she’s already done in cities on the west coast.

Erykah Badu

US singer/songwriter Erykah Badu performs at Demon Days LA Festival, at Pico Rivera Arena and Ground, in Los Angeles, California on October 20, 2018. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

Erykah Badu

The singer and songwriter is also a pretty experienced doula (Slick Woods pursued her expertise when she was prepping to deliver her son). Always a lover of children and motherhood, she told PEOPLE she started really getting into doula work in 2001.

“I’ve always had a mothering nature. But I didn’t plan on becoming a doula. I just wanted to care for my family and friends,” she said. “When I saw the baby, I cried. I knew what I was supposed to do with my life.”


WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 19: Chef Kelis prepares food for ESSENCE and Ford ‘My City 4 Ways’ Culture Festival at Union City on May 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brian Stukes/Getty Images)


For many years, Kelis was the “Milkshake” singer, but over the last few years, she’s established herself as one serious chef and saucier. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, she wrote a cookbook, created a sauce line and even had a cooking show on the Cooking Channel called Saucy and Sweet. 

Patti LaBelle

DETROIT, MI – JULY 14: Singer Patti LaBelle performs on stage at Chene Park on July 14, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

Patti LaBelle

You already know about the power of Patti’s pies. The legendary voice teamed up with Wal-Mart to sell her sweet potato pie recipe, which were so popular (kudos to James Wright) that the inexpensive pies were selling on eBay for $40.

Michelle Williams

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 29: Michelle Williams arrives for the Wearable Art Gala at California African American Museum on April 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

Michelle Williams

The former Destiny’s Child singer dropped a home brand called Believe at Home in 2016 and said her love for interior design came from the women in her life.

“I have always loved home design,” she said. “My mother has such a good eye for interior design. My grandmother also handmade all of the bedding and curtains in her home. I don’t sew, but I wanted to honor her legacy.”

Teyana Taylor

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 15: Teyana Taylor speaks at the Junie Bee Nail Salon grand opening on February 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for VH1)

Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor is a jack of all trades and side hustles, but the one that was most surprising was her decision to open a nail salon in her native Harlem called Junie Bee Nail Salon.

“I’m looking to experiment with my nails and showcase them even more with the new salon and latest OPI products” she said of opening the salon. “I’m taking my experience in music and entertainment to give Junie Bee a distinct style. The salon will have a graffiti street art feel, a mix of cool and playful in my hometown of Harlem. I want it to be an experience!”

Erika Alexander

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 22: Erika Alexander attends a celebration for Abrams at The Gathering Spot on September 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.(photos by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

Erika Alexander

The actress, known for playing Maxine Shaw on Living Single, is also a graphic novel writer. She is the co-creator and co-writer of award-winning Concrete Park, which is a visually stunning science fiction graphic novel series she did with Tony Puryear.

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