Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Who is Nicki Minaj?

Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Born in Saint James, Port of Spain and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, she enrolled in performing art schools as a child. After success with three mixtapes released between 2007 and 2009, Minaj signed to Young Money Entertainment. Her debut studio album Pink Friday (2010) peaked atop the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the month after its release. Its most successful single "Super Bass" has been certified quadruple-platinum and has sold more than four million copies, becoming one of the best-selling singles in the United States. She became the first female solo artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time.
Minaj's second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012) topped charts internationally; it became one of the best-selling albums of that year and sold one million copies worldwide. Its lead single "Starships" became her highest-peaking single on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of the best-selling singles of 2012. She embarked on the Pink Friday Tour and the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour and reissued the album as Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up. As of 2013, Minaj has sold over 5 million albums worldwide. Minaj served one season as a judge on the twelfth season of American Idol. She has tentatively announced plans for a third album to be released later that year.
Minaj's artistry features fast-paced rapping, alter egos and accents, notably British cockney. Her outlandish and colorful costumes, wigs and clothing have given her recognition as a fashion icon. She featured as a voice actress in Ice Age: Continental Drift and is making her acting debut in the film The Other Woman. She has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, and Pepsi. Minaj's work has earned her six BET Awards, four American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, an EMA, five Billboard Music Awards and Billboard's 2011 Rising Star. She is the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times suggesting that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time." The Source named Minaj the Woman of the Year for 2012. In April 2013, Minaj became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with over forty-four appearances.

Her father drank heavily, took drugs, and once tried to kill her mother by setting the house on fire. She lived in Saint James with her grandmother until the age of five, with occasional visits from her mother; subsequently Minaj moved with her mother to Queens borough in New York City. Although her mother motivated her, Minaj's upbringing lacked discipline, causing her to "seek out and practice self discipline"

Minaj is known for her animated rapping style, particularly her flow. She often combines metaphors, punchlines, and wordplay into her work, which has received comparisons to her mentor, Lil Wayne. The New York Times described Minaj as "a sparkling rapper with a gift for comic accents and unexpected turns of phrase. She's a walking exaggeration, outsize in sound, personality and look. And she's a rapid evolver, discarding old modes as easily as adopting new ones."While many critics describe her technique as bubblegum rap, Minaj explained, "What people don't know is that before I was doing that craziness I was doing me, I was just doing regular sounding rap that anyone could hear and identify with. But once I started doing all that weird im not mad at it because it got everyones attention". Widely recognized as a rap artist, Minaj heavily lends herself to electronic music genres, especially electropop. Her debut album Pink Friday marked her exploration of the genre, spawning a string of electro-hits, including "Super Bass". Following the same conventions of combining rap with electronic synths, Minaj's second album pervasively toiled in the electropop genre and generated various songs, including "HOV Lane", "Whip It", "Automatic", "Come On A Cone", "Young Forever", and "Fire Burns", and the Billboard hits, "Roman Holiday" and "Beez in the Trap" At this stage in Minaj's career, she adventured into collaborations with other artist, producing additional electronic hits "The Boys" with "Me & U" singer Cassie and "Beauty and a Beat" with Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.
Her verse in Kanye West's "Monster" was well received by critics, stating she had the best verse in the song. Her alter egos are incorporated in her lyrics through her use of British accents (Roman Zolanski) and being soft-spoken (Harajuku Barbie.) Ice-T says of Minaj's rapping style, "[Minaj] does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions."

Minaj has signed contracts with a variety of corporate interests and manufacturing companies. Minaj created her own app titled after her official website "MyPinkFriday" which featured her self-created slang dictionary the "Nictionary" for Android and iPhone users in 2010. In April 2011, she helped launch Casio's TRYX digital camera in Times Square, along with The Roots.[160] In April 2012, Minaj launched the Nokia Lumia 900 in Times Square followed by a performance of "Starships," "Super Bass," and "Right by My Side."[161] Minaj contracted a promotional deal with Pepsi in February 2012, in which she appeared in a commercial, which was shot in Argentina for the global LiveForNow campaign, and internet advertisements. The commercial featured a remix of "Moment 4 Life."[162][163] In December 2011, Mattel produced a custom Nicki Minaj-themed Barbie to be auctioned on charitybuzz and was valued at an estimate of $US15,000 dollars.[164][165]

Nicki Minaj's Frangrance Pink Friday
MAC Cosmetics collaborated with Minaj on many business ventures, such as a limited edition lipstick called Pink 4 Friday that went on sale for four consecutive Fridays starting November 26, 2010 to promote the release of Pink Friday,[166] and also as part of the Viva Glam campaign with Ricky Martin in Latin America, which has raised $US270 million dollars for MAC AIDS Fund. Minaj fronted their Viva Glam 2013 campaign, releasing a new shade of lipstick "Nicki 2" and matching lip-gloss. Minaj announced that her clothing line would be launched through retailer Kmart on January 9, 2013. Minaj has collaborated with OPI Products on a six-piece nail polish collection with colors named after her songs.
With designer Jeremy Scott, Minaj signed an endorsement deal with Adidas' fall and winter 2012 campaign to appear in Internet advertisements and commercials for Adidas Originals. The ad was filmed in a disclosed location in Brooklyn, also featuring Big Sean, Derrick Rose, Sky Ferreira and 2NE1, all around the world wearing Adidas attire. The commercial used Minaj's song "Masquerade" as the theme song for the ad. Minaj plans to launch her clothing line "The Nicki Minaj Collection" in Fall 2013, and described it as "Harajuku Barbie." Minaj's line includes fashion, accessories, and houseware, announced January 2013 with Adam Levine on the same contract, that it would be sold in mass retail stores such as WalMart and Target. Minaj's clothing line "The Nicki Minaj Collection" will be exclusively sold at K-Mart, announced January 2013. Minaj revealed via Twitter that she is working on two books. In September 2012, Minaj launched her first fragrance Pink Friday with Give Back Brands; the bottle resembles Minaj as she appears on the cover of the album Pink Friday. It is sold under exclusive license to Macy's in the United States and Elizabeth Arden internationally. In April 2013, the limited version Pink Friday Special Edition was launched. On February 14, 2013, Bluewater Comics revealed Minaj would star in the "Fame" biographical comic series , and would make her debut in the comic book titled Fame: Nicki Minaj that was released to stores February 13, 2013. In April 2013, Minaj partnered with Beats Electronics to launch the "Pink Pill" speaker, sold exclusively through AT&T; she and actor DeRay Davis appeared in its commercial later that month. On June 6, 2013, Minaj released a press release regarding the moscato beverage called "Myx". The press release revealed that Minaj would not only front the campaign, but also has shared ownership of the company.

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