Entertainment

Nicki Minaj says she’s “decided to retire and have a family” – and told her fans that she loves them “for life”.

The Grammy-nominated rapper is dating a man called Kenneth Petty and has hinted that they’re planning to get married.

As well as music, the 36-year-old has appeared in several Hollywood films and has her own radio show.

She’s not made it clear how many of her ventures she’s retiring from or, even, if she’s being serious.

Twitter post by @NICKIMINAJ: I’ve decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, ❌ in the box- cuz ain’t nobody checkin me. ✅ Love you for LIFE 😘♥️🦄

After releasing a string of mixtapes in the 2000s, Nicki Minaj joined Drake on Lil Wayne’s record label Young Money Entertainment.

Her debut album Pink Friday came out in 2010.

Mega-hits like Super Bass, Anaconda and Starships then established her as one of the world’s biggest female rappers.

Her solo albums have sold millions – but her collaborations list is just as impressive: Ludacris, Usher, David Guetta, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and we could go on.

Nicki Minaj picking up an award

She’s been nominated for 10 Grammys, won five MTV Video Music Awards and broken the record for the most Billboard Hot 100 entries by a solo female artist.

Away from music, her film appearances include The Other Woman and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

But in 2018 there were signs the wheels might be coming off the Minaj-machine.

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‘She always wanted to open doors’

Sinead Garvan, Radio 1 Newsbeat entertainment reporter

It seems like retirement has come out of nowhere, leading many to speculate Nicki Minaj isn’t being serious.

She wouldn’t be the first musician to retire prematurely – Jay-Z did it in 2003 and has since released five studio albums, and Eminem has done the same.

But looking back over Nicki’s career, she has expressed a desire to start a family and retire in various tracks. She always wanted to open doors for other female rappers to take centre stage – and has achieved that with the arrival of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. But maybe the competition has started to get a bit much for her? Nicki has never won a Grammy, but Cardi B picked up Rap Album of the Year for Invasion of Privacy.

Nicki is no longer at the top of the game and arguably being outshone and that is likely a source of frustration for her. She has become increasingly critical of the music industry.

So, maybe, she’ll take a bit of time out and come back to reclaim her crown.

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Nicki’s fourth album Queen failed to top the charts in the US – leading her to lash out at everyone from Spotify to Travis Scott (whose album Astroworld did go to number one).

Then she cancelled the entire North-American leg of a joint tour with Future.

Nicki Minaj

She said it was because she “simply doesn’t have the time to rehearse… to give the level of show I need to give”.

But there were unconfirmed reports of low ticket sales.

She released a new single back in June and was supposedly working on a new album.

For a star who’s known for bold, sometimes conflicting, statements – it’s far from a given that she’s being genuine with this latest announcement.

But the timing could make sense as some fans have speculated that she’s already married Kenneth Petty in secret.

Newsbeat has contacted her record label for a comment but they haven’t responded.

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