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Nicki Minaj

Rapper / Singer

Born: 8 December 1982
Birthplace: Saint James, Trinidad
Best known as:

 

The female rapper who did 2012's "Starships"

Name at birth: Onika Tanya Maraj

Nicki Minaj's album, Pink Friday, topped the charts on the strength of singles such as "Your Love" and "Moment 4 Life" (a duet with Drake), and earned Grammy nominations as one of the best rap records of 2010. Born in Trinidad, she grew up in New York and started out as an actress (under her real name, Onika Tanya Maraj) before going into music. She released her own tapes beginning in 2007, eventually landing a record deal in 2009. With an assist from Lil Wayne, with whom she recorded the single "BedRock," Minaj was off and running to be the Next Big Thing in pop music. Famous for her bold, colorful outfits and wigs, Minaj is like a hip hop version of Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, and by the time her second album arrived in 2012 (Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded) she was touring with Britney Spears, collaborating with Mariah Carey and Ludacris and performing on stage with Madonna and M.I.A. Her other songs include "Super Bass" and "Starships."

Extra credit:

 

Nicki Minaj has several alter egos, most notably "Roman Zolanski," a personality she uses occasionally in her songs.

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