Nicki Minaj became the first female to grace FORBES’ Hip-Hop Cash Kings in 2011, pulling in $6.5 million, enough to land the No. 15 spot on the annual accounting of rap’s top earners. Performances at the Super Bowl and the Grammys helped raise her profile while a new album, extensive touring and endorsements with Pepsi and others lined her pocketbook.
Minaj has signed a seven-figure endorsement deal with Pepsi expected to include an international commercial and a gig as the face of a new natural soda called “Pop” in fourth quarter. The Pepsi pact marks Minaj’s biggest brand relationship to date, following a recent partnership with Mattel to auction a one-of-a-kind Nicki Minaj Barbie doll in December. Bidding for the doll started at $1,000 and closed at $15,000, according to the Charity Buzz page that hosted the doll’s bids. Other recent branding deals include MAC’s Viva Glam, OPI nail polish and Onch Movement jewelry.
Her debut album Pink Friday debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 sold 375,000 copies in its first week. It ultimately reached number one and spent 39 weeks on the chart. As of February 2012, it has sold 1,774,000 copies in the United States. The album also charted within the top 20 in Australia and the United Kingdom, where it had sold 281,346 by April 2012. The album garnered Minaj three Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance for “Moment 4 Life” featuring Drake and a Best Rap Album nomination for Pink Friday at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012.
Sophomore release Pink Friday Roman Reloaded was dropped in 2012. The album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with 253,000 copies in first-week sales, becoming her second number one album on the chart. It was later certified platinum for shipments of one million copies by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Internationally, the album peaked at number one in Canada, Scotland, and the United Kingdom and within the top five in Australia and New Zealand.