It is hard to resist the urge to take notice whenever Nicki Minaj is around. Aside from her unique fashion sense and odd-colored hair, her bubbly and jolly personality, which is imbibed in all Nicki Minaj songs, doesn’t escape anyone’s attention.
She is one of a kind—a singer-songwriter, a rapper, a voice actress, and now a popular television personality via her stint as a new American Idol judge. But who is Nicki actually? Nicki, Onika Tanya Maraj in real life, was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago on December 8, 1982.
She had a sad childhood, having grown up in the custody of her grandmother. Her father was an alcohol and drug addict who once tried to murder her mother through setting their house on fire. When she was 5 years old, her mother took her as they moved to Queens borough in New York City.
During her teenage years, Nicki wanted to become a drama actress. But her acting career did not take off. At 19 years old, she worked as a waitress at Lobster in the Bronx, where she was later fired for discourtesy to customers.
Her 15 other jobs that failed also ended due to similar antics. She joined Hoodstars, a Brooklyn-based foursome where she was noted for her rap. She left the group after her dissatisfaction with their success.
She was discovered by Dirty Money Entertainment through her songs that she posted on her MySpace account. After signing to the label, she changed her name to Nicki Maraj, which eventually became Nicki Minaj. She released up to tree mixtapes from 2007 to 2009.
Minaj entered a record deal in August 2009 with Young Money Entertainment. In November 2012, she released her debut CD ‘Pink Friday,’ which gained Platinum certification only a month after its launch.
The single ‘Super Bass’ from the same album was released in May 2011. It was the hit that made Nicki a household name and that opened the door for all other Nicki Minaj songs. In May 2012, she embarked on her first ever worldwide concert tour, dubbed as the Pink Friday Tour.
She pulled out from a scheduled performance at New Jersey’s Hot 97 Summer Jam after DJ Peter Rosenberg, one of the radio station’s disc jocks, criticized her song ‘Starships’ for not sounding like a real hip hop. Later, all other labelmates from Young Money were pulled out from that show. The dispute was resolved after serious discussions, though.
It was August 2012 when she finally agreed to become one of the new resident judges of American Idol season 12. Nicki Minaj inevitably clashed with fellow judge Mariah Carey. Their differences were highlighted in the auditions held at Charlotte, where Nicki ended walking out of the set.
In November 2012, she announced plans to create her own record label, which she intends to call ‘Pink Friday Records.’ She later said she will announce a new name for the label after scrapping the original one ‘to be fair with the dudes.’
She has already signed rapper Brinx, singer Kesha, and singer-songwriter Parker Ighile for her soon-to-be launched music label. Meanwhile, expect more Nicki Minaj songs to hit the airwaves and take you by surprise in the coming days.
Most Popular Nicki Minaj Songs
Pound the Alarm
Champion (ft. Nas, Drake & Young Jeezy)
Roman Reloaded (ft. Lil Wayne)
I am Your Leader (ft. Cam’ron and Rick Ross)
Come On a Cone
Last Chance (ft. Natasha Bedingfield)
Dear Old Nicki
Here I am
Blazin’ (ft. Kanye West)
Check It Out (ft. will.i.am)
Fly (ft. Rihanna)
Did It On’em
Roman’s Revenge (ft. Eminem)
I’m the Best
Moment 4 Life (ft. Drake)
Va Va Voom
Beez In the Trap (ft. 2 Chainz)
Right By My Side (ft. Chris Brown)
Turn Me On (David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj)
Right Through Me