In case you missed it on Monday, in a preview clip for the most recent episode of T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, singer Monica Brown revealed that professionally, when she’s not making music, she’s working as a mortician. Not much information was offered in the clip (because they wanted you to watch, obviously), but once the episode aired, all was made clear. The 38-year-old singer works for her uncle at his funeral home in East Point, Georgia, along with her cousin Roderick.
“So, I’m a mortician. Yep, it’s me,” she said in her confessional. “In addition to being a mom, an entrepreneur, a singer, I work in the funeral home owned by my uncle, Gus Thornhill, who is a legendary pillar in our community.”
And it’s something she truly loves to do. When asked by her cousin why she would want to step away from music to work in a mortuary, she said she’s not planning on giving up on anything. She can do both and do both well.
“Truth is, you don’t have to trade,” she told him during a scene where they were prepping for a funeral. “That’s what I’m teaching my kids. If it’s something that you love and that you’re passionate about, why should I not just because I have another profession?”
For the record, Brown isn’t doing anything quick and simple, like greeting guests or helping to put together arrangements with a grieving family member of the deceased. She’s studied mortuary science, so the singer is actually working on the bodies, doing up the faces, helping the deceased to look as close to what they normally would.
“Typically, Roderick will call me for special cases because I have what they call, ‘the eye,'” she said. “I’m able to take someone’s photo, look at them in that current state, and bring things as close to possible as the photo is.”
Being a mortician isn’t something the “So Gone” singer has always been into, but after losing a few people who were very important to her life (she didn’t specify if that included ex-boyfriend Jarvis Weems, who shot himself in front of her), she found herself with a vested interest in making the grieving process easier for others. She studied and worked with her cousin for hours upon hours, and before she knew it, “I realized it became a passion of mine.”
“When I was 18 years old, I lost three very special people. Every time I would walk into a funeral home, and I would view a body, if it looks like who you know, there’s a sense of peace there,” she said. “But when it doesn’t, there is a bit of turmoil that comes over you.”
So instead of simply trying to cash in on a thriving business (people are always dying unfortunately), she really just wanted to make a difference. She takes her job very seriously.
“When I’m there, I’m not Monica the artist,” she said. “I’m there to do exactly what Uncle Gus or Roderick says, because they are the best.”