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Monica Moves Ahead

Monica, bolder than ever, puts a sultry spin on menswear-inspired looks

With the release of her new CD After the Storm—which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart—Monica Arnold has exorcised the demons that have plagued her over the past four years. During that time, a number of tragic events—seeing her boyfriend commit suicide, the deaths of a cousin and grandmother, and the murder charges against an ex-boyfriend—left her severely depressed.

Today, the R&B singer says she has recovered with the help of family, friends and her faith. Monica, 22, told ESSENCE.com last year: “You can hide behind so many things and never face the truth. The hardest thing for a lot of people is to find positive in the negative. Out of everything negative, I’ve found something deeper within me that I never knew was there. Of course, that doesn’t take away the pain, but it just makes it a little bit easier for me.”