Born in 1982, famed hip-hop artist 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 Idoltwelfth season. She also released the hit album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded that same year.
"I've always had this female-empowerment thing in the back of my mind because I wanted my mother to be stronger, and she couldn't be. I thought, 'If I'm successful, I can change her life.'"