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The Evolution of Nicki Minaj

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    Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Saint James, Port of Spain, but raised in Jamaica, Queens in New York City, where she enrolled in a performing arts school growing up.

    Photo: YouTube

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    Between 2007 and 2009 she released three mixtapes, and then signed to Lil Waynes’ label Young Money Entertainment.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    On the cover of ther 2008 mixtape "Sucka Free" Nicki struck a similar pose to Lil Kim's 1996 debut album "Hardcore," sparking comparisons between the two.
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    The spotlight was put on Nicki when she appeared on Yo Gotti’s “5 Star Chick” video.

    Photo: YouTube

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    After appearing with solo rap verses in the songs “Bedrock” and “Roger That,” she received positive reviews from critics and both songs were included in Young Money Entertainment’s debut collaborative studio album.

    Photo: YouTube

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    Nicki was also featured on Mariah Carey’s “Up Out My Face” and its music video.

    Photo: YouTube

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    Nicki was featured on Rihanna’s “Raining Men” which led to a second collaboration “Fly” from Nicki’s debut album “Pink Friday.”

    Photo: Getty Images

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    June 2010 really sparked the feud between Nicki and Lil Kim, when Kim dissed Nicki during one of her concerts in New York City. Nicki responded by dissing Kim on stage during one of her concert with Drake that same month.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    “Pink Friday” was released in November 2010, and Nicki released “Your Love” as the first official single from the album. The album went platinum a month after its release.

    Photo: YouTube

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    Nicki’s career had taken off and she became the first female artist to make it to MTV’s annual “Hottest MC” list, and the first female artist to top that chart since 2002. In 2010, she also became the first artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    In late 2010, Nicki released her collaboration with Drake, which was extremely successful on the charts.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    In June 2011 Nicki opened for Britney Spears’ on her “Femme Fatale” tour.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Nicki’s smash single “Super Bass” was released in May 2011, which went quadruple platinum. She says the track was so successful, partly because of a Taylor Swift radio interview about the song.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Before releasing her album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” she released three promotional singles “Roman in Moscow,” “Stupid Hoe,” and “Roman Reloaded.”
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    “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” was released in April 2012, and features Nicki’s massive hit “Starships.”
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    In February 2012, Nicki became the first solo female rapper to perform on the Grammy Awards stage, debuting “Roman Holiday” in an exorcism-themed performance.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Nicki made her NFL debut when she performed during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    After “Roman Reloaded” was released, Nicki headed out on her first worldwide tour, the “Pink Friday” tour, in May 2012. She continued in the fall with her “Pink Friday: Reloaded” tour.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Nicki became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with 44 appearances, in April 2013.

    Photo: Getty Images

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    In September 2012, Nicki was confirmed to join the twelfth season of “American Idol” on the judges panel alongside Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and of course, Randy Jackson. Nicki shared some tension on set with fellow judge Mariah Carey, and even got into a heated argument during auditions in North Carolina.

    Photo: FOX

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    NIcki starred in a three-part E! documentary special “Nicki Minaj: My Truth” in November 2012.

    Photo: YouTube

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    Nicki released her second studio album 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up'. Eminem Presents: The Re-Up is a hip hop compilation album that
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    Minaj co-starred in a "The Other Woman", playing an assistant to Cameron Diaz’s character.

    Photo: Splash News

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    Minaj's "Pills N Potions" is her third studio album The Pink Print. The Game had a cameo in her video!

    Photo: YouTube

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    Rapper Nicki Minaj performs onstage during the BET AWARDS '14 at Nokia Theater L.A.

    Photo: Getty Images