Onika Tanya Maraj (Nicki Minaj) is a popular rap artist in the US who shot to fame within a short span of time. The talented vocalist and songwriter has established herself as an award-winning singer, rapper, hip-hop artist, television host, and icon of female empowerment. Her unique voice (which often makes use of various accents), and vigorous, fast-flow rap style have made her popular both as a solo artist and as a featured cameo voice on other albums.
In addition to her music, Minaj is also widely known for bold, loud fashion statements, including brightly colored makeup, outrageous hair styles, and unconventional costumes. She has overcome many obstacles along her path to stardom, having been born outside the United States, moving with her family to New York at a young age, enduring an abusive and drug-addicted father, and paying her dues by working several odd jobs before finally finding recognition as a major artist.
While her hasty temper has caused friction and drama with other celebrities (including Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey), fans love her fierce, in-your-face persona. In less than ten years, she has gone from a social media hopeful to successful multi-media mogul, including multiple recording projects, TV hosting, and even a Super Bowl appearance. With no signs of slowing down, Nicki Minaj continues to wow audiences with her chart-topping numbers.
Minaj briefly signed with Brooklyn group Full Force, in which she rapped in a quartet called “The Hood$tars” composed of Lou$tar (son of “Bowlegged Lou”), Safaree Samuels (Scaff Beezy) and 7even Up. In 2004 the group recorded the entrance song for WWE Diva Victoria, “Don’t Mess With”, which was featured on the compilation album ThemeAddict: WWE The Music, Vol.6. 7even Up explained that he and Nicki weren’t fans of Safaree’s reggae edge that he brought to the group, and he even went so far to say that it was the reason they weren’t getting signed by labels.
Minaj later left Full Force and uploaded songs on her Myspace profile, sending several of her songs to people in the music industry. At the time, she was managed by Debra Antney. Fendi, CEO of Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, signed Minaj to his label in 2007 under a 180-day contract. Originally adopting the stage name “Nicki Maraj”, she changed it to Nicki Minaj stating that “My real name is Maraj. Fendi flipped it when he met me because I had such a nasty flow! I eat bitches!”
Minaj has been affiliated with several manufacturing companies and has endorsed a number of products during her career. Her first collaboration was a November 2010 endorsement deal with MAC Cosmetics which sold a lipstick, “Pink 4 Friday”, for four consecutive Fridays to promote her album Pink Friday. In 2011, Minaj helped introduce the Casio TRYX in Times Square, and created a six-piece nail polish collection for OPI Products with colors named after her songs. That December, Mattel produced a custom-made, Minaj-themed Barbie doll valued at about $15,000 for auction on charitybuzz.
Minaj was born December 8, 1982. From Enjoy Accra, We wish Nicki Minaj a Happy Birthday!