Nicki Minaj
Birth Date:
December 8, 1982
Birth Place:
St. James, Trinidad and Tobago
5' 6''
LaGuardia High School, Manhattan
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Nicki Minaj_150114


Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, television personality and actress. After releasing three successful mixtapes between 2007 and 2009, she obtained breakthrough with her first studio album, “Pink Friday” (2010), which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum in the US. The most flourishing single from the album, “Super Bass” received 8x platinum and has become one of the best selling singles in America after selling over four million units. Her sophomore effort, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” (2012), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and emerged as one of the best selling albums of that year. The first single “Starships” becomes her  most successful single to date, charting inside the top five in over fifteen countries, and has become one of the best selling singles of all time. Minaj was a judge on the season twelve of “ American Idol” (2013). Minaj had a voice role on “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012) and will play a role on the 2014 film “The Other Woman.”  

In 2013, Minaj, who is known with trade marks such as pink lipstick, different colors/styles of wigs, blue eyeshadow, and busty and curvy figure, won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Hip-Hop Artist and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Single: Male Artist for “Beauty and a Beat,”  sharing with Justin Bieber. She also has collected 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.

Minaj becomes the only rapper to appear on the Forbes list of “Hip Hop Cash Kings,” where she reached No. 8 with $US15.5 million earnings between May 2011 and May 2012. Raking in $US29 million, she rose to No. 4 on the list in 2013, just behind P Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dr.     

Onika Tanya Maraj

Childhood and Family:

Born Onika Tanya Maraj, on December 8, 1982, in Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki Minaj is the daughter of Carol and Robert Maraj. Her mother had various jobs such as an accounting clerk, a foreign exchange teller, and a gospel singer, while her father worked for American Express. Due to her father's addictions to drugs and alcohol, Nicki spent her first five years of childhood living with her grandmother in Saint James and was occasionally visited her mom. She and her mother later relocated to the Queens borough of New York City. Nicki was educated at P.S 045 Clarence Witherspoon School, Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210, where she played the clarinet and LaGuardia High School, where she took part in the drama program.    

Pink Friday


Nicki Minaj initially wanted to become an actress, and in 2001, she landed a role on the Off-Broadway play, “In Case You Forget.” However, her acting career failed to go, and a then 19 year old Minaj took a waitressing job at Red Lobster in the Bronx. After she was fired, she had various professions like an administrative assistant, customer service, and office manager at an unknown business located on Wall Street, among others. She was always fired from her jobs because of her discourteousness.  

Minaj began her music career with Brooklyn group Full Force, where she rapped in a quartet group called Hoodstars. In 2004, Hoodstars recorded “Don't Mess With,” which was the entrance song for WWE Diva Victoria, and the song was included on the compilation album “ThemeAddict: WWE The Music, Vol.6.” Minaj soon left the group due to her dissatisfaction with their lack of success. She was then discovered by Fendi, CEO of the Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, and signed to his label.

On July 5, 2007, Minaj released her first mixtape, “Playtime is Over,” under Dirty Money Records. It was followed by “Sucka Free” on April 12, 2008 and “Beam Me Up Scotty” on April 18, 2009. Recorded with several artists, including fellow Young Money artists Lil Wayne, Drake, and Jae Millz, as well as Gucci Mane, Busta Rhymes, and Bobby Valentino, “Beam Me Up Scotty” was well received by both critics and fans, and helped to create her fanbase. 

Following her appearance on the popular street DVD “The Come Up Volume 11,” Minaj was caught the eye of fellow American rapper Lil Wayne and signed a record contract with Young Money Entertainment in August 2009. She had a verse on the remix version of Yo Gotti's “5 Star Chick” (2009) and also was featured on the video. This appearance gave her mainstream success with the urban community. The same year, at Jay-Z's request, she made a guest appearance on Robin Thicke's single “Shakin' It 4 Daddy,” but was not given a solo rap until “BedRock,” the second single by hip-hop group Young Money Entertainment from their debut collaboration album “We Are Young Money.” Released on November 14, 2009, the song enjoyed massive commercial success by peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also received positive reviews for her appearances on “Roger That,” which was also included on the gold album “ We Are Young Money,” and Mariah Carey's “Up Out My Face” (2010), which peaked at No. 39 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

After extensive featured appearances on the singles of other artists, Minaj released her first studio album, “Pink Friday,” on November 19, 2010 via Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, and Universal Motown. The album was a huge success by debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 375,000 copies sales in its first week. It ultimately reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and spent 73 consecutive weeks on the chart. The album also reached No. 1 on the US R&B and US Rap, and charted within the top 20 in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. “Pink Friday” scored eight hit singles with “Your Love” (2010), “Check It Out” (2010), “Right Thru Me” (2010), “Moment 4 Life” (2010), “Super Bass” (2011), “Did It On'em” (2011), “Girls Fall Like Dominoes” (2011) and “Fly” (2011). Featuring Drake, “Moment 4 Life” was a No. 1 hit on both the US R&B and Rap charts and was a platinum record. The song received a nomination for Best Rap Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, in which Minaj also was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for her debut album. “Pink Friday” was certified platinum by RIAA a month after the release. It has has sold about 1,895,000 copies in the US as of July 2013.

In 2011, Minaj gained additional recognition with her appearance on “Turn Me On,” a song by French disc jockey David Guetta from his fifth studio album “Nothing but the Beat.” The song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on the UK Singles chart. It received double platinum certification in the US. The same year, she and singer Kesha was featured on the remix of Spears' track “Till the World Ends,” which reached No. 3 in The US.

Minaj's second studio album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” was released on April 2, 2012, and it earned generally mixed reviews from music critics upon its release. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it her second No. 1 album in the US. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. Internationally, the album peaked at No. 1 in Canada and the United Kingdom, and reached the top five in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. The album's lead single, “Starships” (released on February 14, 2012) garnered mostly favorable reviews from music critics and peaked inside the top five in over fifteen countries. The song debuted at No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and then spent a total of 21 consecutive weeks in the top ten. It was certified 4X Platinum by the RIAA. The album also produced the hit single “Pound the Alarm”(released on June 12, 2012), whih charted at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Also in 2012, Minaj was featured on Alicia Key's “Girl on Fire” and Justin Bieber's “Beauty and a Beat.” Both songs went double platinum in the US. She also was a featured artist on Madonna's “Give Me All Your Luvin',” DJ Khaled's “Take It to the Head” and Waka Flocka Flame's “Get Low” (all 2012). She provided the voice of Steffie on the popular animated film “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012).

Minaj joined the judge panel of the twelfth season of “American Idol,” along with Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson. During its run (from January 16, 2013 to May 16, 2013), Minaj and Carey gained much media attention for their on-set tension. Minaj left the show upon the conclusion of the season. Minaj also busy doing a series of guest appearances in 2013, including Rich Gang's “Tapout,” Ciara's “I'm Out” and Chris Brown's “Love More.”

On December 30, 2013, Minaj released a freestyle rap to the viral song “Boss Ass Bitch” by PTAF (Pretty Taking All Fades) via SoundCloud. She is currently working on her third studio album which is scheduled for a 2014 release.

Minaj is set to make her first live action theatrical film appearance in the upcoming comedy film “The Other Woman,” opposite Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. Helmed by Nick Cassavetes, the film will be released on April 25, 2014.     


People's Choice: Favorite Hip-Hop Artist, 2013
Teen Choice: Choice Single: Male Artist, “Beauty and a Beat,” 2013
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