Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982), professionally known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer and songwriter. Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, Minaj earned public attention after releasing three mixtapes between 2007–09. She signed a recording contract with Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010), peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and spawned the top-five single "Super Bass". During that time, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Her second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), also topped the chart and its lead single, the pop crossover "Starships", peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj's third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), was preceded by its second single, "Anaconda", which peaked at number two on the Hot 100 and is her highest-charting single in the United States to date. Minaj made her film debut in the 2012 animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift, and also had a supporting role in the 2014 film The Other Woman. In 2013, she was a judge on the twelfth season of American Idol.
Minaj was the first female artist included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, with The New York Times's editor Brent Staples saying that some consider her "the most influential female rapper of all time". Her rapping is distinctive for its fast flow and the use of alter egos and accents, primarily British cockney. Early in her career, Minaj was known for her colorful costumes and wigs. In April 2013, she became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics and Pepsi. She has received 10 Grammy nominations throughout her career, and has won six American Music Awards, 10 BET Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and was the recipient of Billboard 's Women in Music 2011 Rising Star award.