Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982 in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago), better known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter. Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York, Minaj earned public attention after releasing three mixtapes between 2007–2009.
She signed a recording contract with Young Money Entertainment in 2009. Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010), peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and spawned the top-three single "Super Bass". During that time, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Her second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), also topped the chart and its lead single, "Starships", peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj's third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), was preceded by its second single, "Anaconda", which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and is her highest-charting single in the United States to date. Minaj made her film debut in the 2012 animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift, and also starred in the 2014 film The Other Woman.
In 2013, she was a main judge on the twelfth season of American Idol. Minaj was the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times saying that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time". Her rapping is distinctive for its fast flow and the use of alter egos and accents, primarily British cockney. Minaj's 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 44 appearances. Minaj has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics and Pepsi. She has won four American Music Awards, eight BET Awards, two MTV Music Awards, two MTV Europe Music Award, five Billboard Music Awards and Billboard's 2011 Rising Star award. Minaj is the only female rapper to be featured on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list.
She made her first appearance on the list in 2011, earning $6.5 million from May 2010 to May 2011. In 2012, she placed eighth on the list, earning $15.5 million from May 2011 to May 2012. Minaj rose to fourth on the list in 2013, earning $29 million from June 2012 to June 2013. She made her fourth consecutive appearance on the list in 2014, earning $14 million from June 2013 to June 2014.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Minaj donated $15,000 to the Food Bank For New York City and held a turkey drive at her alma mater, PS 45. Minaj is a Christian, and said that after her father went to rehab and began attending church "he got saved and started changing his life." In July 2011, Minaj's cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, was murdered near his home in Brooklyn, which she refers to in her songs "Champion": "Cause they killed my little cousin, Nicholas. But my memory's only happy images," and "All Things Go": "I lost my little cousin to a senseless act of violence."
Critics have noted Minaj's use of varied sexual identities in her music, some implying that she is bisexual. Although she has said that she does not date or have sex with women, she told Out magazine "I don't date men either". In an interview with Vibe she said, "I just embrace all people of all lifestyles and I don't tell them they are bad people ... But I feel like people always wanna define me and I don't wanna be defined."
In late 2014, Minaj separated from her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. Several tracks on The Pinkprint, as well as its accompanying short film, are believed to have been inspired by the end of their relationship. Minaj revealed she had an abortion as a teenager in her song "All Things Go".
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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