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Nicki Minaj Most Globally Visible Female Rapper of all time, speaks about her Trinidadian and island  culture. 
I love island culture. I love being an island girl. I wear that so proudly. I love being able to say, I’m not American, I’m Trini. I think it gives me so much more depth. I’m able to connect with people who aren’t just Americans, but so many West Indian people no matter where they come from can identify with me just off the strength that they know we have something in common.

Reggae music has inspired me so much. When I left Trinidad, I was young, so I didn’t grow up on calypso per se. But I love all the big Trini acts. Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, and Fay-Ann—they do such a great job representing my country. But when I came to New York, reggae was a big part of life in New York. That was the time when—and I still think Beenie Man is the king of dancehall—you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Beenie Man a million times. And Buju Banton. These amazing reggae artists influenced me more than I think people realize. It’s always there on the album—I always at one point on an album have to represent for my island people. 

Nicki Minaj (born Onika Tanya Maraj, December 8, 1982), better known by her stage name Nicki Minaj, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter. Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York, Minaj earned public attention after releasing three mixtapes between 2007–2009. She has released three albums Pink Friday (2010), Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012) and The Pink Print (2014) earning her millions. 

At 25, Rihanna became the first artist to ever receive the American Music Awards Icon Award.
Rihanna was shining bright Sunday night at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles as she not only took home the award for Best R&B artist, but at 25, the pop star also received the first-ever AMA Icon Award.

The award was created to honor an artist who has influenced the music

industry worldwide.

“The first-ever Icon Award was created to honor an artist whose body of

work has made a profound influence over pop music on a global level,”

the show’s producer Larry Klein said in a statement.

“Rihanna’s iconic and innovative sound has enabled her to become one

of the most influential and best-selling artists of all time.”

In 2012, the Barbadian beauty was named the top-selling digital artist of

all time, and earlier this month, she broke records in the U.K. as the third

artist to ever top the U.K. singing charts seven times in seven years, joining only The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

But even more proof she deserved the award was her simple but strong performance of her hit “Diamonds” that she performed before being given the award by her mother, Monica Braithwaite who hails from Guyana.

“It’s amazing how you always manage to take good out of all your experiences. I’m so blessed to be part of this historical moment,” Braithwaite said.

“You keep me driven,” Rihanna said to her fans. “I can’t believe at 25 years old, I’m holding an icon award. It’s weird to even say out loud.” 
By Stephanie Cary. LA Daily news.  2013.

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