A lot has happened in the 14 years since Brandy and Monica charmed the world with their Grammy-winning teen rivals hit “The Boy is Mine.” Now they’re back with a new duet – “It All Belongs to Me” is out now — and are both mothers.
Brandy’s daughter Sy’rai, 9½ (dad is her ex, producer Robert Smith), has the talent to follow in Mom’s footsteps, but the singer isn’t ready to let her — yet.
“She’s into her school work and her education but singing is all she does, watching videos and making up routines,” Brandy, 33, tells PEOPLE. “I’m seeing the signs, but I want her to hold on a little longer and have a regular childhood.”
“Rodney is a drummer,” Monica, 31, explains of her eldest son (dad is her ex, rapper Rocko Hill). “He is only 6½ and is in the third grade. He wants to go to college like [my husband] Shannon and he’s serious about musical intent — he plays his drums daily and asks for lessons.”
“He asked me, ‘Can you call Travis Barker and have him come give me drum lessons?’” says Monica, who recently ran into the Blink-182 drummer at an awards show and showed him a video of her son playing during his school talent show.
As for her youngest? “My 4-year-old [Romelo] is everything from an acrobat to a soccer player. He is a live wire! He’s sociable like me, a free spirit — all over the place!” she laughs.
And with both Brandy and Monica in loving, committed relationships (Brandy’s dating music publisher Ryan Press; Monica wed NBA star Brown in November 2010), they hope to become mothers again.
“Oh yes,” says Brandy. “Absolutely,” adds Monica, who hopes for “maybe two or three” kids with her husband.
Till then, both are planning play dates at Chuck E. Cheese, hoping to hit the road together this summer and relishing their renewed friendship.
“I just feel blessed,” notes Monica, whose album New Life is out April 10. “We had to get here as people first before we could do anything musically [again] and be the artists that we are, the mothers that we are.”
Brandy, who plans to release a new record this summer, sums it up: “We are ready to sing!”
For more on Brandy and Monica’s lives now and their last moments with their friend Whitney Houston, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
– Jessica Herndon and Marisa Laudadio