It is 9pm and Montreea waits in the hallway of a hospital. She has been summoned by a family to sing for a loved one who, in one hour, will take her last breath. Montreea maneuvers her wheelchair next to the woman’s hospital bed and begins to sing. Her family embraces and sheds tears while Montreea sings what will be the last song heard by this young woman. After a few minutes, Montreea leaves the room. Though far from the glitz and glamour of BET’s Sunday Best, she sang that night as if the cameras were still rolling – all for the glory of God.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana, Montreea began singing gospel at age 2 and playing classical music at age 10. She was recruited to the High School for Performing and Visual Arts by the legendary Doc Morgan where she graduated with honors. She received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston with a double major in music business and audio engineering. She also attended master classes by Patti LaBelle, Oleta Adams, Sting and Quincy Jones. During her college career, Montreea interned with BMG Records and Island Records.
In 2004, Montreea received devastating news when she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. In 2008 she reflected, “Being in a wheelchair is humiliating, but it leads to humility.” Despite the diagnosis, Montreea signed a management contract and in 2005, was named a Black Heritage Society Jr. Achiever. She signed with Mad Insanity Records and recorded hooks for rappers Spice 1, Tech N9ne and Twitzid of Insane Clown Posse. Montreea has produced and hosted various radio shows including Mic Madness, Radical Praise, A Woman’s Worth, High Praise and King Radio. She has interviewed numerous award winning artists and her broadcasting skills have been featured on the British Broadcasting Company.
Montreea has produced and engineered recording sessions for a decade even serving a 2 year stint as engineer for Snoop Dogg’s producer, Keith Clizzark. Dubbed an “underground musical genius” by Curve Magazine, she has received press in many publications including The New York Times, Chill Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, Computer Music, Blues and Soul, URB, David Atlanta, Go NYC, The Dallas Morning News, Instinct, OutSmart, Rolling Stone, Sapience, 713 and the provocative documentary, Pick Up The Mic which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival alongside premieres by Johnny Depp, Dave Chapelle and Madonna. The movie is broadcast on MTV Logo and Netflix.
By 2006, Montreea had reigned as Soundclick’s no. 1 gospel singer for 4 consecutive years. In April of 2006, Montreea was nominated for a 2006 OutMusic Award for her CD, The Love of Money. In July 2006, she was awarded a 2006 Texas Lifetime Achievement Award. A distribution deal with Dee-Lite Promotions in December of 2006 finally landed her CD in record stores in the UK. In 2006, Montreea completed her 4th year of dj residency in Houston.
After spending 2007 engineering recording sessions for a bevy of rappers, Montreea was selected as a Gay Ambassador by the City of Houston’s Tour Bureau. Though influential within the gay community, Montreea’s diagnosis was taking a toll on her body & she contemplated suicide. She states, “I would not leave the house. I could not face the world. I knew something had to change or I was going to die.” In 2010, Montreea began a journey of change – dropping her former name, repenting of homosexuality and abandoning everything she stood for. “I did not want to be Miss Money anymore so I walked away from my fans, my identity and my lover. I made Jesus my priority and began to rebuild my life and career,” Montreea states. Later that year after winning the Houston finals of the Most Powerful Voices contest, she opened for Marvin Sapp and Brian Courtney Wilson. She also appeared as a celebrity judge for Houston’s Pride Idol. In 2011, Montreea was nominated for a My Gospel Soul Award and won a 2011 Fresh Award.
In 2012, Montreea was a semifinalist in the Unsigned Music Only competition beating out thousands of singers. Within a year, she beat out 15,000 singers to land on BET’s Sunday Best. In the summer of 2015, her home church, Greater Faith Church, presented her with the Courage Award. Montreea travels extensively across the country promoting love and unity within the body of Christ. She candidly writes songs about her former life as Miss Money in which she heavily promoted alcohol, drugs, and illicit sex. Her soul filled messages have become as legendary as her a capella gospel improvisation. When asked how she dreams so big, Montreea states matter of factly, “Failure isn’t an option because it isn’t a thought. I absolutely believe God has a plan for me.” Indeed – it seems so.