Written by | Ray Cornelius

Tonight is the premiere of TV One’s newest reality-series, “R&B Divas.”

The show follows the lives and careers of Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Monifah, Keke Wyatt and Syleena Johnson as they come together to create a compilation album in support of the Whitney Houston Academy. Fans also get a glimpse into their lives as they face their demons and forge ahead to reclaim their places in the spotlight.

RC had an opportunity to chat briefly with Monifah who looked radiant in her H&M  and American Apparel  at a recent Atlanta premiere. The outspoken vocalist and single mother discussed working on a new project, her favorite ‘ole school’ diva and why she decided to reveal her same-sex relationship on the show. She appeared very focused and optimistic about what lies ahead in her future.

Check it out!

RC: Let’s get right to it. You share a secret about yourself on the show…

M: It’s not a secret. It’s never been a secret.

RC: What made you decide to talk about your sexuality on the show?

M: Well, this show was documenting and following us and following our lives. At this point in my life, through what God has brought me through; I’ve always lived my authentic life whether it worked for me or not. I was always true to what I wanted to do, whether it wasn’t working. But it was what Monifah wanted to do. I had to keep it real. It’s time that we talk about these things and stop acting as if!  Its 2012 and I’m all about humanity and equality across the board, period!  Fairness, you know?  I can’t live like that. It would kill my spirit.

RC: Who is your favorite old-school diva?

M: Who’s my favorite ole school diva?  I would have to say…because I grew up with an uncle who was a fanatic and just as far as clothing and persona and fabulosity and overall…Diana Ross!  I love them all but I just remember that I looked at her as one of my barometers.  I wish it could go back to that.  I think Beyoncé comes very close to that for the kids that are younger and looking up to her. I think that she comes close to that. She’s so fabulous and she gives you all of that.

RC: What’s next for you after the show?

M: Life continues.   I’m actually working on my fourth project which I’m really excited about.  It’s been a labor of love. I’m still in the process of waiting to see how God is going to move in that area. It’s tentatively is called Midnight. It’ the start of things anew and it parallels to my life now. It’s a new beginning for me and a new perspective on my life, people, places and things. I’m really just excited as life continues and following my passions.

R&B Divas premieres tonight on TV One at 10pm.