There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Montina Cooper. One third of The Mamas, the uber talented trio who slays Beyoncé’s background vocals on tours for the last ten years, Cooper is raw talent refined. Don’t let the robust voice, glitz and glam fool you, Cooper is a survivor, emotionally layered.
Music and songwriting became the Houston, Texas bred artist salvation. Cooper, who masterfully arranged Destiny’s Child rendition of “The National Anthem” at the 2006 All Star Game, has a testimony; one of divine intervention, mercy and unmerited grace. God wasn’t done with her yet.
“I watched my father drive away from us when I was 12. He was addicted to drugs and took everything we had… that was the beginning of my battle with depression and food addiction. I went from a normal kid to being overweight and so depressed, and by the time I turned 18 I tried to end my life.
I had taken so many pills and was lying on the couch, waiting, when my phone rang and it was my friend. She said I called her, but I hadn’t. We both thought the other one had called us. That phone call saved my life. She immediately knew something was wrong and called 911.”
Her inspirational and heart-touching track, “Saved Me,” from her new album Closer, speaks to the soul. An ode to healing powers, rescue and a will to live.
“Even at the hospital I barely survived… they didn’t think I would make it. But God saved me. It’s been a long road of wondering why I’m here and why God saw fit to take me out of a bad situation, but I want to share what I’ve been through. He saved me, and I need to do what I can to help others see their value, too.”
Like a flower, the St. Louis born vocalist blossoms before our eyes. Having battled food addiction and weight gain, Cooper continues to grow on a journey of hope and undeniable resilience.
At 287 pounds, Cooper was cast for NBC’s The Biggest Loser in 2010, shedding 84 lbs. She told the St. Louis Dispatch:
“I’d done ‘The Biggest Loser,’ did the single, was going to do a record, then I started to gain weight again. It was very scary. I lost weight in front of the world and then picked it up in front of (Beyoncé) fans.”
“I had to get to a point of loving me for me, being comfortable in my own skin regardless and just being as healthy as I can.”
In an industry overflowing with one-hit wonders, processed and superficial talent, Cooper is a breath of fresh air. Real talent still exists.
Cooper’s album Closer is available on iTunes now.