Happy Birthday Nicki Minaj: A Big Year In Review

By Maurice Bobb

Perhaps you’re surprised to learn that Nicki Minaj, the most popular female MC on the planet, will officially turn 30 Saturday (December 8). That’s understandable. The rapper born Onika Tanya Maraj looks as young as she did three years ago, when she first signed with YMCMB. And if the last 365 days are any indication, she has no plans on slowing down.

The leader of the Barbz nation started the year 2012 off with a bang, performing “Give Me All Your Luvin’” with Madonna and M.I.A. during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

Nicki followed that up by debuting “Roman Holiday,” from her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, at the 54h Grammy Awards, becoming the first solo female rapper to perform on a Grammy stage.

Back in May, Minaj kicked off her first worldwide jaunt, The Pink Friday Tour, and later took home the award for Best Female Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. Nicki's biggest move of the year, though, was joining the judging panel for the 12th season of American Idol. And for the icing on the cake, Minaj fulfilled a lifelong dream when she launched her own fragrance, obviously titled Pink Friday.

It hasn’t all been pink roses for the Young Money empress, though. After the Grammy nominations were announced Wednesday (December 5), fans took to Twitter to blast the Academy for not nominating Minaj for a single award. Minaj’s snub was surprising since she snagged three nominations at last year's show for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album.

Grammy noms or not, Nicki has plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Happy Birthday Nicki Minaj!