Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 12:39 PM
Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1984), better known by her stage name Nicki Minaj (pronounced /m??n???/), is a rapper and singer-songwriter who was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, but moved to the Queens borough of New York City as a child and graduated from LaGuardia High School in 2003. She released her first mixtape Playtime Is Over in 2007, which was followed by Sucka Free and Beam Me Up Scotty in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Minaj was discovered by fellow American rapper Lil Wayne and signed a deal to Young Money Entertainment with distribution from Universal Motown in August 2009.
Her debut studio album Pink Friday (2010) became a commercial success, peaking atop of the U.S. Billboard 200 and being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a month after its release. She became the first artist ever to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Her second single, "Your Love", reached number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, making Minaj the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002. She also became the first female artist to be included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List.