Nicki Minaj Net Worth
Nicki Minaj Net Worth: $45,000,000
Income Sources: Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, American Idol, Pepsi, MAC Cosmetics, Adidas, Casio, Nokia, OPI Products, Beats by Dr. Dre, Elizabeth Arden, Give Back Brands, K-Mart, acting
Onika Tanya Maraj, or “Nicki Minaj,” is a rapper, singer, actor, fashion designer, and entrepreneur with a net worth of $45 million. She was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, but grew up in Queens, New York after moving there at the age of five. Minaj is well known for her guest appearances (mostly with her Young Money / Cash Money labelmates) as well as her own albums, the first of which went platinum shortly after its release. In 2011, she raked in $6.5 million, which made her the first woman to grace the pages of the Forbes top 20 Hip Hop Cash Kings (or Queens) list.
Nicki Minaj was trained in performance from an early age. In her teens, she attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, otherwise known as the school that inspired the movie “Fame.” After high school, Minaj pursued an acting career, and landed a role in an off-Broadway play, but her career never took off and she ended up taking numerous odd jobs in order to pay the bills.
During this time, she started making raps and uploading them to her MySpace page. It was thanks to this MySpace page that Fendi, CEO of the independent record label Dirty Money Entertainment, first got a hold of Minaj’s music. After hearing her songs, Fendi signed Minaj to the label, and together they began to release her mixtapes. Fendi also got Minaj to appear in his urban DVD magazine, “The Come Up,” which saw her modeling for photo shoots alongside other rappers. One of these rappers turned out to be Lil Wayne, whom Minaj later featured on her 2008 mixtape “High as a Kite.” This mixtape was her breakthrough, and in 2009, she officially signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label.
Over the next few years, Minaj generated hype around herself by releasing mixtapes, appearing as a guest rapper on numerous recordings, and releasing of two of her own singles: “Your Love” and “Check It Out.” All of this set the stage for her 2010 debut album “Pink Friday,” which sold 375,000 copies in its opening week and was certified platinum shortly thereafter. She was nominated for several Grammy awards the next year, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance.
After this success, Minaj launched a major worldwide tour, which included an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and a performance at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show alongside Madonna and M.I.A.. Her second album, 2012’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” featured guest artists Nas, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, and Beenie Man. This was followed by the release of “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – the Re-Up” which included the original Roman Reloaded disk, plus eight additional songs, and a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage. These albums didn’t top the success of “Pink Friday” but did lead to hit singles like “Starship” and “Right by My Side.”
In addition to her solo work, a good deal of Minaj’s income comes from her collaborative efforts with other hip-hop artists. On Kanye West’s 2010 single “Monster,” Minaj boasted that she got paid $50,000 for her guest verses.
Not one to shy away from pushing a certain product, Minaj has also landed a number of lucrative endorsement deals. That, plus her addition to the American Idol judges’ bench, has shown that Minaj is working her way into almost every aspect of entertainment and pop culture.
In September 2012, the Fox TV network announced that Minaj would join American Idol as a judge for their 12th season, along with Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson. Sources have estimated that the show’s producers will spend $54 million on salaries for the four judges combined, as well as host Ryan Seacrest, which means that Minaj could be making upwards of $10 million for her role on the show.
Despite Minaj’s early interest in acting, she has not yet used her star power to build a major acting career for herself. Her biggest role so far has been as the voice of Steffie in 2012’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” where she acted alongside her Young Money labelmate Drake.
Minaj’s biggest endorsement deal to date is her 2012 contract with soft drink giant Pepsi. While details of this deal have not been publicly released, industry insiders have called it a “multi-million dollar deal.” This deal bears strong resemblance to Lil Wayne’s deal with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. The details of his deal have also not been publicly released. What is known is that Minaj will be the face of Pepsi’s global “Live for Now” ad campaign, and that her single “Moment for Life” will be the soundtrack to the ad campaign.
Interestingly, this deal has also not stopped Minaj from joining American Idol, where she is seen holding a giant cup of Coca-Cola in every episode (Coca-Cola has sponsored the show for the past 11 years). Pepsi representatives have said that they have no problem with her appearing on the show, and that she “remains a part of the Pepsi family on a global basis.”
Additionally, while both Minaj and Lil Wayne shill for Pepsi, their friend and labelmate Drake has recently signed a deal with Coca-Cola’s Sprite.
MAC Cosmetics Endorsement
Well known for her personal hair and makeup styles, which can be described as eccentric to say the least, Minaj was a natural fit to promote the major cosmetics brand MAC. Her first deal with the company was the launch of her “Pink Friday” lip shade in 2010. She later became the face of their “Viva Glam” campaign alongside Ricky Martin.
Recently, MAC has announced that Minaj will spearhead the 2013 “Viva Glam” campaign solo. This will include the release of a new lipstick shade and matching lip-gloss called “Nicki 2.” “Viva Glam” is a charitable campaign, with 100% of its proceeds going towards the fight against aids. The campaign has already raised $270,000,000 for HIV/Aids-related causes since it started in 1994. This is an issue that is close to Minaj’s heart, since her uncle died of AIDS in Trinidad.
In addition to make-up products, Minaj has also made her way into the fragrance industry. In 2012, she launched her first scent, “Pink Friday,” in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden and Give Back Brands. Later, in 2013, she released a second fragrance, “Pink Friday Special Edition.”
Beats by Dr. Dre
Joining fellow rappers Diddy, Drake, and Lil Wayne, Minaj has also launched her own custom “Beats” product. Her product is a portable wireless pill-style speaker called “Pretty in Pink,” which of course will be sold in Minaj’s favorite color: pink. The speakers were first promoted in April 2013 in her video for the song “High School.” In addition, she will also be releasing signature headphones and earbuds on the “Beats” line, which will be released in June 2013.
Further Endorsement Deals
The above deals are only part of Minaj’s extensive business portfolio. Her other deals have included contracts with Nokia, Casio, OPI Products, Adidas, and even her own Nicki Minaj-themed Barbie doll with Mattell, which sold at a charity auction for an estimated $15,000. Minaj has also created her own smartphone app, called “MyPinkFriday,” which includes her own Nicki Minaj slang dictionary, or “Nictionary.”
Latest Ventures: New Album, Clothing Line, & Record Label
Recently, Minaj has announced a number of new ventures, including a new album, her own clothing line, and even her own record label. According to Minaj, the album will be a continuation of “The Re-Up,” at least in terms of production. As for the clothing line, it was launched in K-Mart stores in January 2013, and Minaj has described the brand’s look as “Harajuku Barbie.”
In addition, plans for Minaj’s own label are already underway. To-date, she has signed singer-songwriter Parker Ighile, rapper Brink, and singer Keisha to the as-yet-unnamed label. The label was originally going to be called “Pink Friday Records,” but Minaj later retracted the name on Twitter, saying it wouldn’t be “fair to the dudes.”
Since her MySpace discovery, Minaj’s career has taken off in a big way. Only a few years after the release of her first album, Minaj has managed to turn her quick rhymes and eccentric personality into a multi-million dollar business venture. And thanks to her efforts, and her lucrative partnership with Lil Wayne, Birdman, and the whole Young Money / Cash Money crew, she is now one of the richest women in hip-hop.