- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
Born on December 8, 1984, Nicki Minaj is an Indo-Asian descent. She grew up in a troubled family with a father who was a drug addict. She studied singing and acting at LaGuardia High School but like many other big stars, she began her singing career as a backing vocalist for other artists.
Her talent was first spotted by Young Money CEO Fendi on MySpace and later was recruited for The Carter Edition of Young Money's "The Come Up" DVD series. Her rapping skill caught Lil Wayne's attention who later on tagged her for a number of collaborations in his mixtapes.
In April 2007, Nicki released her first mixtape "Playtime Is Over". Weezy lent his vocal on one of the songs. A year later, she dropped another mixtape "Sucka Free" which landed her as Female Artist of the Year at the Underground Music Awards.
After the arrival of her third mixtape "Beam Me Up Scotty" which received positive reviews from BET and MTV, she appeared in a bunch of joint tracks for studio albums from the likes of Ludacris, Usher, Mariah Carey and, of course, her mentor Weezy.
Nicki finally released her debut single "Massive Attack" in March 2010. She teams up with Sean Garrett on the hook and tags her BFF Amber Rose aka Kanye West's girlfriend when shooting the music video.
The singles "Your Love" and "Check It Out" then preceded the release of her official debut album, "Pink Friday", which was released later in 2010. It peaked at No. 2 on Billboard 200 and went platinum. She earned a handful of 2011 Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance.
In early 2012, she released "Starships" as the first offering from her sophomore effort, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded", an album built around her devil-may-care alter ego "Roman Zolanski." Boasting guest appearances from Nas, Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown and Beenie Man, the album hit No. 1 on the U.S. album charts. In addition to "Starships", the album spawned other hits like "Pound the Alarm" and "Va Va Voom" which reached the Hot 100's top 40. By the end of 2012, Minaj was announced as a judge for the twelfth season of "American Idol", although she left at the end of the season.
In 2013, Minaj announced that she would be releasing a new album in 2014. "Lookin A**" was released in March