Onika Tanya Maraj professionally known as Nicki Minaj was born on December 8, 1982 to mother Carol Maraj a gospel singer and father Robert Maraj, a financial executive plus a part time gospel singer. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, and moved with her family to Queens, New York, when she was five years old. Her father was a severe drug addict with a long history of violence. At one point, he set fire to the family’s home in a failed attempt to kill Minaj’s mother.
She attended LaGuardia High School in Manhattan, which focuses on visual and performing arts. She wanted to be an actress and was cast Off-Broadway play In Case You Forget in 2001. While she was trying to make her life better she took on many jobs from waitress to administrative assistant. As per her she was fires from at least 15 jobs because she was rude to customers.
She signed with Full Force Brooklyn group in which she rapped in the quarter half shortly after she left Full Force and started uploading her own songs on her Myspace profile. Soon after she was signed by Dirty Money Records on July 5, 2007. Through the records she released her first mixtape Playtime is Over , her second Sucka Free was released on April 12, 2008 and her third mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, on April 18, 2009.
Later in August 2009 she signed Lil Wayne’s record label Young Money Entertainment. She also appeared on the “BedRock” and “Roger That” on the compilation album, We Are Young Money (2009) and also collaborating with Mariah Carey and Robin Thicke.
She released her debut album’s lead single “Massive Attack” on March 29, 2010 followed by “Your Love”. The Pink Friday album dropped that November, with eight singles released to promote it. The album went triple platinum, and received generally positive reviews.
Her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in April 2012. The lead single “Starshipps” were released in February 2012. She was the first solo female rapper to perform at the Grammy Awards, premiering “Roman Holiday” during the 2012 ceremony on February 12. The album debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 253,000 copies.
In September, Minaj joined the judges’ panel for the twelfth season of American Idol with fellow new judges Mariah Carey and Keith Urban and the returning Randy Jackson. That October a leaked video circulated, with Minaj and Carey in a heated argument during auditions in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Eight more singles were released from her next album, The Pinkprint, which came out on December 12, 2014. The album’s star-studded guest list included Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande and Drake. It went double platinum, and in 2016, she won the Best Female Hip Hop Artist award at the BET Awards for the seventh consecutive time.
Minaj had also been branching out into other areas. She provided the voice of mammoth Steffie in 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift and made her movie debut in 2014’s The Other Woman, opposite Cameron Diaz. She later received a Teen Choice Awards 2016 nomination for her role in Barbershop: The Next Cut. She has fronted a number of endorsement deals and advertising campaigns, including MAC Cosmetics, Adidas Originals and Pepsi, and has her own fragrance line. She is a shareholder in the Tidal streaming service.
She is working on her currently untitled fourth studio album, and has released the singles “Regret in Your Tears”, “No Frauds” and “Changed It”. In February 2017, she was featured and co-wrote Jason Derulo’s “Swalla” that reached number 6 in the UK singles chart.
In late 2014, Minaj separated from her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. Minaj began dating rapper Meek Mill in early 2015. On January 5, 2017, Nicki Minaj announced via Twitter that she had ended her two-year relationship with Meek Mill.