Entertainment Music Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery Share PINTEREST Email Print Music Rap & Hip Hop Basics Top Picks Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Classical Music Country Music Folk Music Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Henry Adaso Henry Adaso has written about hip-hop since 2005 and founded the award-winning blog The Rap Up. He has written for "Vibe," MTV, Rap Rehab, and more. our editorial process Henry Adaso Updated July 01, 2017 01 of 11 Nicki Minaj in Photos Elsa/Getty Images Nicki Minaj is one of the most important rapping humans to ever breathe on a mic. She arrived at a time when female rappers were teetering on the brink of extinction. Minaj broke through, however, overcoming all the usual adversities female rappers face in the male-dominated hip-hop industry. She shattered virtually every glass ceiling in the book. She's sold millions of records, graced hit singles, starred in movies and masterminded her own journey. Her rise to the top makes her one of a kind. Yes, Nicki Minaj has killer curves and she's not afraid to flaunt them. A graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, Nicki grasps performance art and uses it to her advantage. Dive in for a Nicki Minaj photo gallery and some quick facts to see what makes her special. Nicki Minaj Bio 02 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Who is Nicki Minaj? Fans everywhere know her as Nicki Minaj, but her family knows her as Onika Tanya Maraj. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago on December 8, 1982. DJ Khaled Ft. Nicki Minaj, Future, Rick Ross - "I Wanna Be with You" 03 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Music Breakthrough Neilson Barnard/Getty Images The right mix of opportunity and ability helped Nicki Minaj break through. It all started on MySpace. Nicki, like most aspiring rappers, shared her music freely on the erstwhile social media giant. Dirty Money Entertainment CEO Fendi took notice. When Fendi peeped her freestyle and her sexy promo shots, he immediately sought her out. Several MySpace messages later, Nicki Minaj scored a feature on Fendi's urban DVD, The Come Up. One of the DVD episodes also spotlighted Minaj's would-be superstar labelmate Lil Wayne. Through Fendi, Wayne reached out to Minaj and eventually signed her to his label, Young Money Entertainment. Nicki Minaj worked the mixtape circuit fervently in her early days. After signing to Lil Wayne's Young Money label, she went to work. She started gathering momentum through freestyles, features and mixtapes. In 2008, she released Sucka Free which was hosted by new mentor Lil Wayne. She popped up on Weezy's Dedication 3 mixtape, where she dropped a robo-voiced remix of T.I.'s "No Matter What," one of the most popular rap songs of 2008. The word was out: Nicki Minaj was here to stay. Wayne returned the favor with a verse on Minaj's "High as a Kite" single, which got a video treatment. Nicki Minaj on Not Being a Fan of Jay Z's 04 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Net Worth Nicki Minaj is a savvy businesswoman who has been gradually expanding her empire. She has released a line of fragrance, scored an endorsement deal with MAC Cosmetics and helped introduce the Casio TRYX and inked an endorsement deal with Adidas. There's a $15,000 Mattel Nicki Minaj barbie sitting on someone's shelf right now. So, just how rich is Nicki Minaj? Thanks to her growing business ventures, Nicki Minaj is reportedly worth $50 million. 05 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Height Samir Hussein/Getty Nicki Minaj is listed at 5' 2" (1.57 cm). She's taller than Lil Kim (4' 11") and Ariana Grande (5' 0"), and she's shorter than Azealia Banks (5' 7") and Beyonce (5' 7"). 06 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Her Favorite Rapper Minaj is so unique that her influences are harder to pin down. In my interview with Nicki, she cited Jay Z as one of her influences. Jay's Reasonable Doubt is one of her favorite albums. She's also influenced by Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill, M.I.A, Lil Wayne and, yes, Lil Kim. She likes to mix things up. Visit any Minaj album and you'll find a good mix of gritty rap songs and syrupy pop hits. Nicki Minaj's Top 5 MCs Lil WayneNicki MinajDrakeJay-ZGucci Mane 07 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Her Best Song Kevin Winter/Getty Images Nicki Minaj has released several notable songs, but there's one that stands heads and shoulders above all her performances: her turn on Kanye West's "Monster." She stomped all over that song with a verse so spectacular West briefly considered yanking it from the song. She held her own alongside Eminem on "Roman's Revenge." She spazzed on "Beez in the Trap" next to 2 Chainz. She wrecked shop on Ludacris' "My Chick Bad." Those two guest appearances along with her massive energy drummed up a huge buzz and set the path for her soon-to-be debut, Pink Friday. Critics rarely give Nicki Minaj credit for her lyrics. Despite her string of pop hits, Nicki is capable of blacking out on a beat. See Also: Shots Fired: Remy Ma vs Nicki Minaj 08 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Meek Mill Elsa/Getty Images Who is Nicki Minaj's boyfriend? Well, she dated Safaree Samuels, but the relationship ended in 2014. Still, Nicki credits Samuels for having an overwhelming impact on her life. The breakup inspired some of the material on Minaj's third album, The Pinkprint. These days, Nicki Minaj could be seen spending time with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. She tweeted that she's "in love with Meek." The two are constantly seen together at events. The pair was all cuddly backstage at one of Nicki's concerts in Paris. They're rumored to be engaged. 09 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Success Secrets Nicki Minaj receives constant attention for her looks, but she says she always wanted people to focus on her music, not her image. "Part of my whole campaign -- now -- is based on the music, and not anything to do with sex, even though sex is a good thing," she said in a 2009 interview. So what's the secret to Nicki Minaj's success? An agile flow, song-stealing cameos, a colorful personality and enough energy to power an amusement park. Then there's that never-say-die attitude every successful person seems to possess. "I live by the creed 'Where there's a will, there's a way'," she says. 10 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Anaconda Cover Almost. In the summer of 2014, Nicki Minaj shut down the Internet with the artwork for new single "Anaconda." The cover shows Nicki Minaj squatting, back to the camera wearing a pink bra, blue kicks and an itsy bitsy thong.Within minutes, "Anaconda" started trending all over the world. Nicki Minaj Unveils Steamy Anaconda Artwork 11 of 11 Nicki Minaj Photo Gallery - Twerking Apparently so. Exhibit A.