At,Nicki Minaj’s $70 million net worth is nothing to sneeze at. Since her career began in 2007, the “Anaconda” singer has generated enough success and buzz that 2016 looks to continue what has been a very profitable trend for her. Here’s a better look at where her $70 million has come from.
Born December 8, 1982 in Trinidad and Tobago, Onika Tanya Maraj moved to Queens, New York when she was five. Initially wanting to become an actress, Minaj had to settle for numerous office and restaurant jobs, like waitressing at Red Lobster, after her acting career stalled; she claims to have been fired as many as 15 times because of her “horrible attitude.”
Minaj’s music career began in 2007, but technically actually started even earlier, when she signed with Full Force (a small production group from Brooklyn) and joined a quartet called The Hoodstars; their most notable song was used as the entrance music for a female WWE wrestler in 2004. Minaj would part with Full Force, instead using Myspace to promote her own music by uploading it to her personal profile and then sending copies to those in the industry.
While signed to a six-month contract with Dirty Money Entertainment, Nicki Minaj released three mixtapes: Playtime is Over in July 2007, Sucka Free in April 2008, and Beam Me Up Scotty in April 2009. During this period is when she took on the stage name “Nicki Minaj;” it was originally “Nicki Maraj,” using her real last name, but the star changed it.
In 2009, Minaj was signed by Young Money Entertainment after being discovered by rapper Lil Wayne and appeared in singles with many other popular artists, including Robin Thicke and Mariah Carey. Her first solo breakthrough album, Pink Friday, was eventually released on November 19, 2010 and features guest vocals from major artists like Kanye West, Drake, Rihanna, and Eminem. Receiving overall positive reviews, the album sold approximately 1.9 million copies by February 2015, and earned Minaj an estimated $2.35 million. Pink Friday also had an associated tour in 2012, the Pink Friday Tour, which ran 41 concerts on four continents, with the last one being free as part of a promotional deal with Pepsi. Estimated ticket sales totaled $1.4 million.
Her second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (“Roman” being Roman Zolanski, one of her alter ego personalities, like Eminem’s Slim Shady) was released in April 2012. Reviews were more varied than with her first album, but it did well commercially, debuting in the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and selling 1.4 million copies in the year. The subsequent Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour was also successful.
American Idol and Hollywood Breakthrough
But Nicki Minaj’s net worth in 2012 didn’t benefit from just her music. In September of that year, the artist became a judge on the 12th season of American Idol, earning $12 million as her salary. She left the show in May 2013 “to focus on the music,” as did co-judge Mariah Carey, with whom Minaj was reported to argue with often. By the end of 2012, Minaj was worth an estimated $15.5 million.
The rest of 2013 was relatively busy for Nicki Minaj. For starters, she became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with 44 hits total on the chart—ironically the only other artist to match that number was her American Idol rival, Mariah Carey. She also increased her earnings up to $29 million.
This also happened to be the year that Minaj branched out into acting—her first feature film (aside from her voice in 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift) was alongside Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton in The Other Woman, which was released in spring of 2014. At the end of the same year, her third album, The Pinkprint, was released, which featured her highest-chanting single ever, “Anaconda.” Her ultimate earnings for the year were $14 million, which was low only because The Pinkprint was released in December and not earlier.
Like many music artists, Nicki Minaj has a bevy of endorsements, the first being with MAC Cosmetics in 2010. She has also lent her name, likeness, and ideas to Adidas’ winter 2012 marketing, a clothing collection at Kmart, speakers under the Beats banner, the 2015 spring/summer campaign for Roberto Cavalli, and even a comic book telling her life story. She also has a major fragrance line that began in September 2012, with the second line in 2013 and the third in 2014. Minaj is also co-owner of the music-streaming site Tidal, along with several other artists. On top of all that, she also has her own custom-made Nicki Minaj Barbie doll created by Mattel.
Nicki Minaj’s net worth is pretty impressive considering she only has three albums to her name. Look for the all-but-eventual fourth to increase her notoriety in addition to her wealth and fame. You can also probably expect even more endorsements to help cushion her net worth even further!