She was born Onika Tanya Maraj on December 8th 1984 in Saint James, a suburb of Trinidad and Tobago's capital city Port of Spain.
Better known by her stage name Nicki Minaj she grew up in a fantasy world she created for herself, saying "Fantasy was my reality."
Constantly surrounded by her parents' constant fighting she created the fantasy world as her means of escape. Her parents have Indian and Afro-Trinidadian ancestry and her father drank and took drugs. Once he tried to kill her mother by setting fire to the house.
Minaj lived with her Grandmother until she was five-years-old as her parents were looking for a place to live in the Queens borough of New York City.
Her mother would visit occasionally and when she was 5 she collected her daughter and took her back to Queens.
She learnt to play the clarinet at the Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School and at Laguardia High School, which specialised in Music and the Visual Arts Minaj participated in the drama programme.
She released her first mixtape in 2007 and another one on July 7th 2008. After a third mixtape was released she appeared in XXL magazine and in 2008 she won the Female Artist of the year Award at the Underground Music Awards.
Her debut album "Pink Friday" was released on November 19th 2010 and a Buzz Single "Massive Attack" was released in April 2010.
The first single from her debut album was released in August 2010 and peaked at Number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also became the first female artist to be included on MTV's Annual Hottest MC List, the first female artist to top the chart unaccompanied since 2002 and the first artist to have 7 songs on the Billboard Top 100 chart simultaneously.
Her most successful single to date in Europe is "Check It Out" which she released as a joint single with the Black Eyed Pease front man Will.i.am.
On 29th January 2011 Minaj appeared on "Saturday Night Live" as the musical guest singing two songs and on February 9th "Pink Friday" reached Number 1 on the Billboard 200 in its 11th week in the chart.
Minaj has a tattoo on traditional Chinese characters on her left arm which means "God you are always with me."
She worked on the Pink Friday follow up and first tour with Lil Wayne, as well as recording songs for other people. 2011 and 12 was a busy year for the little girl who grew up in Fantasy Land and now those fantasies are coming true.