Onika Tanya Maraj (born December 8, 1982) is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer and songwriter, as well as an actress and voice actress. Known professionally as Nicki Minaj, she is hailed as the most famous female rapper in the planet, notably acclaimed for her versatility as an artist, her sharp lyrics and animated flow in her rapping, including alter egos and hyper accents.
As a small child, Minaj lived with her grandmother in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobego until moving to New York City to live with her parents when she was five years old. Her father, Robert Maraj, a financial executive and part-time gospel singer, is of Indo-Trinidadian and Afro-Trinidadian descent, while her mother, Carol Maraj, also a gospel singer, is of Afro-Trinidadian ancestry.
Minaj graduated from the LaGuardia High School in Manhattan, which focuses on visual and performing arts with the intention to become an actress, and in 2001 was cast in the Off-Broadway play 'In Case You Forget'. Nicki Minaj earned public attention after releasing three mixtapes between 2007 and 2009, signing to Young Money Entertainment and outshining other artists in her infamous features all before the release of her first studio album 'Pink Friday' in 2010, which skyrocketed her into a global and cultural icon, her influence, popularity and acclaim only growing to cement her as an icon of over the course of the decade. She is the most followed rapper of all time on the social media platform, Instagram.
Nicki Minaj made her film debut in a voice acting role for the 2012 animated film 'Ice Age: Continental Drift', followed by supporting roles in 'The Other Woman' (2014) and a voice acting role in 'Angry Birds Movie 2' (2019). She has appeared as self-archive footage in multiple films and documentaries, and stated in early 2022 her intention to return her focus to acting with her biggest role to date.