Exclusive Q&A: Monica Reacts to Grammy Nominations

It’s been a year of highs for Monica, who rose back to the top of the charts with her sixth album Still Standing, celebrated her engagement to L.A. Laker Shannon Brown, and capped off 2010 by receiving two Grammy nominations last night. The R&B songstress, a previous Grammy winner for “The Boy Is Mine,” scored nods for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Everything to Me” and Best R&B Album. caught up with Mo backstage at the nominations ceremony at L.A. LIVE moments after she heard the good news. The grateful singer told us what the nominations mean to her, which category she wants to win most, and the first person she plans to call.

Congrats on the two nods! How does it feel?
I was really shocked by it. I have to be really honest. When I did this particular album, I was thinking about the testimony and all the different things that happened in my life. Those were just words of encouragement that I wanted to share with the fans. It was really an album that was all about the fans and I never thought about anything else coming behind it. I didn’t have any expectations at all. When they told me about the nominations, I just felt really grateful. I felt a little bit overwhelmed because when your peers respect what you’ve done and [The Recording Academy] respects what you’ve done, it just feels good. You just never know. There’s so much great new talent, a lot of us disappear.

Which category do you want to win most?
[Best R&B Album] would mean a lot because it’s about the whole body of work, but I don’t think there’s one that stands out more than the other because that song, ‘Everything to Me,’ was a very special song for myself and Missy [Elliott]. I’m kinda torn. I don’t really have one that I prefer over the other.

Who’s going to be the first person you call to share the news?
My children. My five-year-old [Lil’ Rocko]. He’s gonna be the first person that I call.

Does he understand what a Grammy means?
[Lil’ Rocko] does. He’s very competitive. My two-year-old [Romelo] could pretty much care less. He’ll do the usual, ‘Mommy, where are you?’ My five-year-old is very in tune with what’s taking place, so I think he’s gonna be more excited about the fact that I’m nominated and really understand.