Once upon a time Nicki Minaj was once just an aspiring waitress working hard to get the music industry to notice her. This is the story of how Nicki Minaj grafted to become the most prominent female rapper in the world.
Minaj attended LaGuardia High School, which specialises in music and performing arts – but music wasn't her end goal, acting was. In 2001 she appeared in a play called 'In Case You Forget,' but ultimately her acting career failed to take off
She was struggling to break through in the acting world so worked at a restaurant called Red Lobster in the Bronx waitressing to make ends meet. Eventually though, Minaj was fired for being rude to customers, a situation she found herself in many times. Picture: Instagram
There were three other members in the group – Lou$tar, Scagg Beezy and 7even Up. The extent of their success was recording the entrance song for WWE's Diva Victoria titled Don't Mess With in 2004.
Under the Dirty Money Record label, Minaj went on the release two more mixtapes. Sucka Free came in 2008 and Beam Me Up Scotty was released the year after.
The award came in 2008, just after her second mixtape and just before her third. Finally, Nicki was beginning to get noticed. Picture: Instagram
Once again, Nicki's hard work and strong talent meant she was catching the right peoples eyes. This time it was Lil Wayne, who got in touch and took her over to Young Money – the same label that homes Tyga and Drake. Picture: Instagram
A year before her album dropped Nicki gained herself a verse on a track with three of raps biggest players. Many regarded her verse on Monster as the best, so at this point, everyone was waiting to see what she came up with on the album.
Everyone knows the song – it completely blew up, peaking at number 2 on the UK Billboard Hot 100 and finding huge commercial success. The single went on to feature on Young Money first compilation album We Are Young Money. Now, Nicki has tasted success. Pic: PA Photos
Rihanna had already blown up and Nicki was given the huge opportunity of featuring on a track on Rih's Loud album, Raining Men. The track worked and the pairs connection meant that Rih would put her voice – and name – to a single on Nicki's debut album.
Nicki worked with a range of producers including will.i.am and Swizz Beatz, plus enlisted vocals from Eminem, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West and more to achieve the album she wanted. Pink Friday is primarily hip hop with r&b and pop.
The song peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Rap Songs chart – becoming the first female artist to top the Rap Songs chart unaccompanied since 2002
All of the singles were a success, and in October 2010 Nicki Minaj become the first female solo artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously.
It was its eleventh week in the charts that the album finally made it to the top. Nicki was now at the top of game and living the dream.
She raps about it in her song Roman Reloaded, saying: " I couldn't do your TV show, I need 10 more mil"
She opened the show alongside other acts including Jessie J, Toy Boys and Nervo.
The single charted within the top 10 in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. As of May 2012 the single had sold more than four million digital copies and was certified 8x platinum.
The colourful props and costumes use, most notable the bubblegum pink went on to become Nicki's signature style.
OK, so it was an animated film, but it was a step in the right direction. Nicki voiced the character of Steffie the woolly mammoth in the animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift. Picture: Nicki Minaj Twitter
She announced that a second album was on the way in November 2011 on her Twitter page, and eventually it arrived although it was two months later than initially planned.
Cash Money A&R Joshua Berkman said: "She wouldn't just rap or sing on anything – I could give her a thousand tracks and she may only like one or two." Picture: Nicki Minaj
The single peaked at number 2 in the UK – a personal best for Minaj, and reached number five in the US. Starships went on to become one of the year's best-selling singles.
Filmed in Hawaii, the video opens with a starship flying towards an island, then Nicki Minaj, with her green hair and pink bikini, emerges from it and starts singing. Her style was cemented. Picture: Flynet
In the habit of making history, Nicki put female rappers in the limelight when she performed Roman Holiday at the 54th Grammy Awards.
She must have for the extra $10 mil because in 2012 Nicki worked alongside Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson, but she didn't get on with Mariah – as everyone found out when a leaked video of the two arguing appeared online. Nicki left the show after one season.
The bottle resembles Nicki as she appears on the cover of the album Pink Friday. In September last year a second fragrance, Minajesty was released.
On April 12, 2013, Minaj became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with forty-four appearances
Years after her dream of being an actress, Nicki Minaj will finally appear in a film. She's playing Cameron Diaz's assistant in The Other Woman.
Continuing her attempt to take over the world, Nicki Minaj brought out a fashion collection for American store Kmart, It features midriff-baring tops, patterned leggings and curve-hugging dresses, as well as jewelry, clutches and bejeweled caps.
After going quiet for a while Nicki recently released a new song and accompanying video called Looking Ass which premiered a new, more natural look. The single is set to feature on Young Money's upcoming second compilation album Young Money: Rise Of An Empire. Picture: Instagram