The 6 Keys To Nicki Minaj's Huge Pop Star Success


A month ago, you probably didn’t know who Nicki Minaj was — but as of today, her album has grabbed the number-one spot on the Billboard chart.

And that’s not all. Minaj’s album, “Pink Friday,” didn’t start there — it climbed, which is something records rarely do anymore.

That ascent points to something bigger going on here: America is discovering the singer for reasons other than her solid musical talent.

Underneath her array of wild wigs, Minaj clearly has a good head on her shoulders — she’s hitting all the keys to quick, ubiquitous fame, and she’s hitting them hard.

Light up the Twitterverse.

Minaj's name has had some organic popularity on Twitter, trending several times during the last month. But there are few bigger tweet-coups than a personal shout-out from someone like Lindsay Lohan, who (scandal or no scandal) reaches more than 1.6 million readers every time she taps out a thought.

Have an ever-evolving look -- and a signature style.

Sounds like a contradiction, right? But in the wake of Lady Gaga, no pop star will ever set foot on a stage again without having first carefully calibrated both a trademark and a flair for outrageous fashion. Like Gaga, Minaj wears high-concept clothes in pops of bright colour -- but she also incorporates her favourite shade (pink) and accessory (wigs) in just about every look.

Share your secrets.

Minaj has opened up to the press about a childhood marred by abuse, alcohol and drugs. And she isn't holding much back, telling The Sun that as a child, she lived in fear her father would kill her mother.

Few 'Saturday Night Live' musical guests without the heavyweight status of, say, Paul McCartney, have won as much on-screen time as Minaj -- and homegirl didn't waste a second of it. She starred in the episode's digital short and was pitch-perfect in one of the night's longest and most memorable sketches, a Frankenstein spoof.

Have important friends -- and exclusive things to say about them.

Lil Wayne's prison stint generated a huge amount of press. And when Weezy got out of the clink earlier this month, guess who had the scoop on his post-jail reformation? Minaj called the newly-sober rapper 'clearer than ever.' So what's the only thing better than friends in high places?

Enemies in high places.

That's right. With every rise to fame comes inevitable rivalries, and Minaj fans didn't have to wait long for the answer to 'Where's the beef?' Lil' Kim (who seems to always be down for some sniping) started attacking Minaj in the press late last year, and apparently there are more shots coming in Kim's new mixtape, out Feb. 14 (she allegedly calls Minaj a 'knockoff'). The feud has several musicians taking sides, though rapper 50 Cent recently dismissed the feud as 'harmless' -- no kidding. It's the free press that keeps on giving.

Maybe Keith Olbermann should borrow from Minaj's playbook in his new gig...

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