Nicki Minaj

Real Name : Onika Tanya Maraj

Born: 08/12/1992 (29 yo)
Birth place: Saint-James, Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)

Citizenship : USA, Trinidad and Tobago
Ethnicity : Indian and Afro-Trinidadian

Occupation : Singer , American rapper, songwriter, actress, and TV personality
Active Years: 2004-present


Onika Tanya Maraj known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Born in Saint James, Port of Spain and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, she enrolled in performing art schools as a child. After success with three mixtapes released between 2007 and 2009, Minaj signed to Young Money Entertainment.

Minaj's debut studio album Pink Friday (2010) peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its most successful single "Super Bass" was certified quadruple-platinum and has sold over four million copies, becoming one of the best-selling singles in the United States. During this time, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the Billboard Hot 100. Her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012) topped the Billboard 200 and became one of the best-selling albums of that year. Its lead single "Starships" peaked at number 5 in the United States and became one of the best-selling singles of 2012. As of 2013, Minaj has sold over 5 million albums globally. That same year, Minaj served as a judge during the twelfth season of American Idol.

Minaj is the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times suggesting that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time." Her rapping is distinctive for its fast flow, use of alter egos and accents, notably British cockney. Her outlandish and colorful costumes, wigs and clothing have given her recognition as a fashion icon. In April 2013, Minaj became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with over forty-four appearances. She has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, and Pepsi. Revisiting her roots in drama, Minaj has ventured into work as a voice actress in Ice Age: Continental Drift and is making her acting debut in the 2014 film The Other Woman. She has earned seven BET Awards, four American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, an MTV Europe Music Award, five Billboard Music Awards and Billboard's 2011 Rising Star.


1982–2006: Early life and career beginnings

Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Saint James, a suburb of Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, on December 8, 1982, to parents Carol and Robert Maraj. She is of mixed Indian and Afro-Trinidadian ancestry and has two siblings. Minaj's mother held numerous jobs, including an accounting clerk, a foreign exchange teller, and a gospel singer. Her father worked for American Express, suffered from alcohol and drug addictions, and once attempted to kill her mother by setting their house on fire. Until she was five years old, Minaj lived with her grandmother in Saint James, and was occasionally visited by her mother. She and her mother later moved to Queens, a borough in New York City. Minaj stated that her upbringing lacked discipline, and caused her to "seek out and practice self discipline".

Minaj attended P.S 045 Clarence Witherspoon School during her elementary years, and later attended Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210, where she played the clarinet. She then graduated from LaGuardia High School, which specializes in music and the visual and performing arts. Minaj participated in the drama program and initially planned to sing at LaGuardia, but lost her voice on the day of the audition. Minaj described her high school life as being distracted from her academics by “acting and boys”. Minaj wanted to become an actress, and in 2001, she was cast in the Off-Broadway play, "In Case You Forget". After her acting career failed to take off, Minaj worked at Red Lobster in the Bronx at the age of 19 as a waitress. Minaj was fired from Red Lobster because of her discourteousness to customers. She stated she had been fired from "at least fifteen jobs" for similar antics. Other jobs Minaj held were administrative assistant, customer service, and an office manager position at an unknown business located on Wall Street.

Minaj briefly signed with Brooklyn group Full Force, in which Minaj rapped in a foursome group called "Hoodstars," which consisted of group members Lou$tar (son of "Bowlegged Lou"), Scaff Beezy (Minaj's current hype man) , and 7even Up. In 2004 the group recorded the entrance song for WWE Diva Victoria titled "Don't Mess With," it was featured on the compilation album ThemeAddict: WWE The Music, Vol.6. Minaj left the group, unsatisfied with their lack of success. During this time, Minaj uploaded a few songs on her Myspace profile and sent a few of her songs to people in the music industry. At the time, she was managed by Debra Antney. Fendi, CEO of the Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, who also found rapper Gravy, discovered the music and contacted Minaj, signing her to his label. Initially, Minaj adopted the pseudonym "Nicki Maraj", later changing to "Nicki Minaj", stating "My real name is Maraj. Fendi flipped it when he met me because I had such a nasty flow! I eat bitches!" Under Fendi's label, Minaj appeared on the popular street DVD "The Come Up Volume 11" that featured underground rappers from New York.

2007–09: Mixtapes and Young Money

Minaj released her first mixtape Playtime Is Over in 2007 with Dirty Money Records. Her second mixtape, Sucka Free, was released on April 12, 2008 under the label Be. She won the Female Artist of the Year award at the 2008 Underground Music Awards shortly after. On April 18, 2009, Minaj released her third mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty under the label of Trapaholics Records; it received positive coverage on both BET and MTV. She also appeared in XXL magazine during this time.

In August 2009, Minaj signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment, with distribution from Universal Motown Records, after fellow American rapper Lil Wayne discovered her on The Come Up DVD. Minaj generated significant attention when she first appeared on Yo Gotti's 5 Star Chick video, which gave her mainstream success with the urban community. At the request of Jay-Z, Minaj was asked to feature on Robin Thicke's single Shakin' It 4 Daddy. Following the guest appearance, Minaj was given a solo rap verse in the single "BedRock". The record garnered huge commercial success, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also appeared on "Roger That," which charted at number 56. The song, particularly Minaj, received positive reviews from critics. In December 2009, both songs were included in Young Money Entertainment's debut collaborative studio album We Are Young Money. The album charted in the top ten on the Billboard 200, reaching number 9 and later receiving a Gold Certification by the RIAA. Minaj was featured on Mariah Carey's "Up Out My Face" and its music video. The collaboration was well received by critics.

2010–11: Breakthrough with Pink Friday

A tan-skinned woman in a bright pink wig poses with hands on both side of her hips. Smiling, she stands before a black background and has Mandarin characters tattooed on her right arm.

After a major record label bidding war, Young Money Entertainment announced on August 31, 2009 that Minaj had been released from a 360 deal with the label in which she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing. Minaj was featured on Rihanna's "Raining Men" from her album Loud, which would lead to a second collaboration on Minaj's "Fly" from her album Pink Friday. Hip-hop rap artist and producer Kanye West was also confirmed for the album. On August 3, 2010, Minaj revealed on an channel that the album's name would be Pink Friday, a nod to Black Friday.

Pink Friday was released on November 19, 2010. A buzz single, "Massive Attack", was released in April. In August, Minaj released "Your Love" as the first official single from her debut album. The single peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, 7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and topped the Rap Songs chart. Minaj became the first female artist to be included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List and the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002. In October 2010, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously. She released two singles in September 2010; one a joint single with The Black Eyed Peas front man, titled, "Check It Out," and the other "Right Thru Me." The music videos for both were released in late October. "Moment 4 Life" was released as the fourth single on December 7, 2010, featuring Canadian rapper Drake, becoming a success on the Billboard Hot 100. The single peaked at number 5 on the Hot Rap Songs.

The album gained Platinum certification in the United States a month after the release.[45][46] On January 29, 2011, Minaj appeared on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest, performing "Right Thru Me" and "Moment 4 Life". On February 9, 2011, Pink Friday reached number one on the Billboard 200 in its eleventh week on the chart. Minaj turned down an offer to become a judge on The X Factor, as rapped on her song "Roman Reloaded", due to its salary. In June 2011, Minaj was an opening act along with Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo on Britney Spears' sixth concert tour, the Femme Fatale Tour, in support of her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale. She and singer Kesha were featured on the remix of Spears' track "Till the World Ends," which charted at number 3 in the US in April 2011.

"Super Bass" was released from Pink Friday in May 2011. The single charted within the top 10 in many countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada, and later was certified as quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song gained positive reviews from critics. Minaj went on to attribute the success of the single in part to Taylor Swift, saying in an interview with American radio station 102.7 KIIS FM, "Taylor Swift did her little interview about 'Super Bass' and [it] took off in the States with the people sort of knowing it...It’s just really uncanny how all that stuff happens...We didn’t plan it like that." Minaj voiced a character in the 3D animated film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, as Steffie, a woolly mammoth. Minaj is also featured on French DJ David Guetta's 2011 album, Nothing but the Beat, on the singles "Where Them Girls At" and "Turn Me On".

2012: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Minaj's second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was announced in November 2011 through Twitter and was released on April 2, 2012, two months later than initially planned. The album features collaborations with producers Hit-Boy, Dr. Luke, Rico Beats, Kenoe, RedOne and Oak. Cash Money A&R Joshua Berkman told HitQuarters that Minaj was extremely particular about the beats and music she used saying: "She wouldn't just rap or sing on anything – I could give her a thousand tracks and she may only like one or two." Preceding the album's release, three promotional singles were released: "Roman in Moscow" (which did not make the final cut of the album), "Stupid Hoe," and "Roman Reloaded." The first single, "Starships," was released on February 14. It peaked at a new best for Minaj of number 2 in the United Kingdom, and reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her second top 10 success, after 2011's "Super Bass". The music video was released on April 26, 2012. It became one of the year's best-selling singles.

On February 12, Minaj debuted "Roman Holiday" at the 54th Grammy Awards, becoming the first solo female rapper to perform a song on the Grammy stage. The exorcism-themed performance drew a mixed response online. Minaj was featured on "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (with M.I.A.) and "I Don't Give A" from Madonna's twelfth studio album, MDNA (2012); the trio performed the former during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in February. The album's second single, "Right by My Side," which features Chris Brown, was released on March 27, 2012. It peaked at number 24 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and peaked at number 101 in the UK singles chart. The third single, an electro-hop[68] song called "Beez in the Trap", which features 2 Chainz was released to U.S. urban radio on April 24, 2012. It peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Rap Songs Chart.

Nicki Minaj StarshipMinaj began her first worldwide tour, the Pink Friday Tour, on May 16, 2012. It was followed by the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, which began in October. Minaj cancelled her appearance at the 2012 V Festival in the United Kingdom and the final show of her Pink Friday Tour in Dublin due to the damage of her vocal chords. Minaj was scheduled to headline during Hot 97 Summer Jam in New Jersey on June 3, 2012 at MetLife Stadium, but pulled out of her performance the day of after one of the station's DJs (Peter Rosenberg) criticized "Starships" as not being "real hip-hop." Her mentor Lil Wayne heard the remark and pulled his Young Money labelmates from the show. Minaj was scheduled to bring out hip-hop artists Nas, Lauryn Hill, Cam'ron, Foxy Brown, among others. She spoke to Hot 97 with Funkmaster Flex, ending the dispute.


Nicki Minaj Va Va VoomAn expanded version of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded subtitled The Re-Up was released on November 19, 2012. The first single from the re-release, "The Boys", with Cassie, was released on September 13, 2012. Its music video debuted on VEVO on October 18, 2012. "Va Va Voom" was released as the fifth single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on October 23, 2012; the second single from The Re-Up, "Freedom", was released on November 3, 2012. Minaj won the award for Best Female Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, and performed "Girl on Fire" with Alicia Keys and special guest gymnast Gabby Douglas. In November, Minaj was featured in the three-part E! documentary special Nicki Minaj: My Truth. At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, Minaj was nominated for Best Hip-Hop, Best Female, and Best Look; she won the former, but lost the latter two to Taylor Swift.

2013: American Idol, third album and current endeavors

In September 2012, Minaj was confirmed to join the judging panel of the twelfth season of American Idol, alongsidge fellow new hires Mariah Carey and Keith Urban and returning judge Randy Jackson, with a salary of $12 million. Minaj and Carey have received much media attention for their on-set tension, most notably with a leaked video of the two in the midst of a heated argument during Charlotte, North Carolina auditions. The following day, Carey alleged that Minaj had threatened to "shoot her" during the aforementioned incident, though Minaj and producer Nigel Lythgoe denied such claims. Minaj left the series upon the conclusion of the season. On April 12, 2013, Minaj became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with forty-four appearances.

Minaj has confirmed plans to launch her own record label, having signed Parker Ighile, Brinx, and Keisha as artists and Blackout Movement as a producer. The title "Pink Friday Records" was intended, but was scrapped because it was "Not fair 2 (sic) the dudes", with the new name to be released "very soon". Minaj is currently working on her third studio album, which she describes as "a continuation of The Re-Up with a lot more". Minaj speaking of her third album also stated her will focus back to her "hip-hop roots" Minaj has announced plans to appear in her first live-action theatrical film The Other Woman; filming began in spring 2013, with an anticipated release date set for April 25, 2014. Minaj is set to appear as actress Cameron Diaz's assistant. Minaj led nominations for rap musicians at the Billboard Music Awards 2013 having seven nominations. Minaj won Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards 2013, making history as the first female rapper to win the award four times consecutively. Minaj was sued by Chicagoan artist Clive Tanaka for copyright infringement over the single "Starships". Minaj's third album is scheduled for a 2014 release.

Websites & Social Networks



  • Pink Friday (2010)
  • Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)


  • 2010 "Massive Attack" (featuring Sean Garrett)             
  • 2010 "Your Love"
  • 2010 "Check It Out" (with       
  • 2010 "Right Thru Me"   
  • 2010 "Moment 4 Life" (featuring Drake)
  • 2011 "Super Bass"
  • 2011 "Did It On'em"      
  • 2011 "Girls Fall Like Dominoes"
  • 2011 "Fly" (featuring Rihanna)
  • 2012 "Starships"             
  • 2012 "Right by My Side" (featuring Chris Brown)
  • 2012 "Beez in the Trap" (featuring 2 Chainz)     
  • 2012 "Pound the Alarm"
  • 2012 "Va Va Voom"      
  • 2012 "The Boys" (with Cassie)
  • 2012 "Freedom"             
  • 2013 "High School" (featuring Lil Wayne)


  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • The Other Woman (2014 film)



Opening act

  • America's Most Wanted Tour (2009)
  • I Am Music II Tour (2011)[227]
  • Femme Fatale Tour (2011)



  • Pink Friday Tour (2012)
  • Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour (2012)