Born in 1982, Nicki Minaj grew up with an abusive, drug-addicted father. After attending La Guardia High School for the Arts, she was introduced to rapper Lil Wayne, who launched her career. Her 2010 debut album, Pink Friday, and her single, “Your Love,” topped the Billboard charts. A frequent “cameo” singer, Minaj’s voice was featured in seven songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2010. In 2012, Minaj was announced as one of the new judges of the popular singing show American Idol(season 12). This makes Nicki a great candidate for our Hollywood Hottie of the Week.
Determined to make it in the music business, Minaj took on backup singing roles for local New York City rappers. Soon, she began writing her own material. She was eventually discovered by Dirty Money CEO Fendi, who came across Minaj’s MySpace page, loved what he heard, and immediately signed her to his label.
That connection led Minaj to Lil Wayne, who collaborated with her on a series of mix tapes, the first of which, Playtime is Over, was released in April 2007. The recording, and subsequent mixed tapes, showcased Minaj’s female swagger and out-front style.
By early 2010, considerable anticipation had built up around Minaj’s much discussed, much covered debut album, which was scheduled for release that fall. In April of that year, she released her first single, “Massive Attack.” Two months later she won Best Hip-Hop Female at the annual BET Awards. She dedicated the award to Lil Wayne.
In 2012, Minaj was announced as one of the newest cast members ofAmerican Idol; the singer will begin appearing on the popular television show in 2013 (season 12), as part of the show’s judging panel.