Nicki Minaj (born Onika Tanya Maraj on December 8, 1982) is a Trinidadian-born American hip-hop singer/rapper and actress.
Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Minaj moved to the United States when she was five, settling in New York City. She became involved in the underground hip-hop scene and released three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009 before landing a deal with Young Money Entertainment. She has since released two platimum-selling albums, Pink Friday in 2010 and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in 2012, which have spawned such hits as "Super Bass", "Starships" and "Pound The Alarm". Minaj has also collabrated with various artists such as Cassie, Madonna, Justin Bieber and Robin Thicke among others. Minaj's third album, The Pink Print, was released on December 12, 2014.
Known for her crazy outfits and colorful wigs, Minaj is considered a fashion icon and has been compared to pop star Lady Gaga. Minaj is also very active on Twitter, ranked number 6 on Billboard.biz's list of celebrities with the most active Twitter followers.
On September 16, 2012, Minaj joined Randy Jackson, pop icon Mariah Carey and country singer Keith Urban as a judge for season 12 of American Idol. She became known on the show for her honesty and willingness to give advice and also showed a tendancy to give the contestants cute or funny nicknames.
After one season, Minaj announced on May 30, 2013 that she was leaving the show.
Despite being praised by some for bringing some honesty and directness that the show had been missing since the departure of Simon Cowell, Minaj received criticism from people who claimed that she had no right being on the show due to her being a rapper, not a singer. Many accused her of having no talent. Others said that her honesty and occasional bluntness in her critiques was very off-putting. Some even accused her of being very rude and mean-sprited. Some critics even went so far as to say that Minaj drove away the show's core audience. Also, many blame Minaj for the show's drop in the ratings even though other factors played into that. She was even called "immature" and a bully especailly after getting into a Twitter feud with contestant Devin Velez after his elimination and calling Mariah Carey "bitter" and "insecure" on Twitter after Carey made a supposedly snide remark about Minaj not ever having had a number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 while she was giving feedback on a contestant's performance.
SInce her time on the show, Minaj has been busy working on her music as well as acting, appearing in the 2013 film The Other Woman opposite Cameron Diaz. She even had season 12 Idol alum Burnell Taylor perform with her on her song "Pills N Potions", which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, at the 2014 BET Awards, which created a buzz on Twitter and social media.
On April 16, 2015, MInaj announced her engagement to fellow rapper Meek Mill, whom she had been dating since early 2015.
- Pink Friday (2010)
- Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)
- The Pink Print (2014)