Taylor Swift and rising star Nicki Minaj headlined a list of Women in Music industry that was topped by Atlantic Records’ Julie Greenwald, who appeared alongside boss Lyor Cohen, CEO of Warner Music.
Billboard editorial director Bill Werde said he was repeatedly asked why Billboard still ranks its Women In Music honorees, which was expanded from 30 to 40 this year. “We believe in taking an editorial stance to keep the industry striving to work harder,” he said.
That sentiment was echoed by Minaj, who told ABC News’ Robin Roberts during an onstage Q&A that she dealt with a lot of rejection before reaching her current place in the pop culture stratosphere. “I’ve had a lot of doors closed in my face,” she said. “I’m no different than any struggling artist that just tried one last time.”
Friday’s event fell on a particularly busy day for Minaj, who debuted her new single “Roman In Moscow” from her upcoming album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” on iTunes just minutes before walking the red carpet. She also revealed plans for a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll made in partnership with Mattel, to be auctioned off next Wednesday at Divine Design’s five-day gala in Beverly Hills on CharityBuzz.com.
Minaj told Roberts that the new album is “so much fun from beginning to end” and will explore multiple genres. “It’s … grimy,” she said.
Although Swift and Minaj never shared the stage at Billboard’s event, a career highlight for both artists from 2011 was performing Minaj’s “Super Bass” at Los Angeles’ Staples Center earlier this year. Minaj credits Swift’s early praise of the song, and subsequent shout-outs on radio and tweets to her fans, as having a direct impact on the song’s path from “Pink Friday” bonus cut to her highest-charting single to date. “I just saw her last week, and I told her, ‘This is not something I’m saying to the cameras. This is something you had a hand in.’ This just shows the power of her words.”
Both honorees had important people to thank for helping them in their way to the top. Swift credited her parents with teaching her the importance of personal responsibility and integrity in her career. “It’s just easier to stand by the decisions you’ve made [yourself],” she said, noting that she sits in on every management and publicity meeting to make sure she’s on the same page as her team on every decision.
And Minaj had a message for the room of fellow honorees at the end of her acceptance speech. “To everyone out there, I am so proud of you for showing me this can be done. You can be your own boss, and make your own music, and project an image you believe in and keep good morals and all that good stuff.”
The event closed with a performance by S-Curve recording artist Andy Grammer, who paid tribute to Swift with an acoustic version of her hit “Mine” and dedicated his own single “Keep Your Head Up” to Minaj and the rest of this year’s honorees. [Source]
e caught up with DJ Paul of hip-hop duo Three 6 Mafia at Pharrell’s Qream launch event in Beverly Hills. The Oscar winner, who’s currently promoting his album Pray for Forgiveness and VH1 show “Famous Food,” shared some of his favorite MCs right now.
“I like Waka Flocka. Waka Flocka’s one of my favorites,” Paul told Rap-Up TV. When asked what he thought of Waka’s possible retirement, he responded, “I remember when I was his age. You’re having too much fun. He won’t do it.”
He also has a soft spot for one particular female hip-hop star. “I like Nicki Minaj. She is my favorite female rapper of all time,” he boldly declared, weighing in on the ongoing Nicki vs. Lil’ Kim feud. “There’s enough money out here for everybody. Just have some fun with it. Both of them are good.”
Nicki Minaj’s rise to superstardom was not an easy road. The Pink Friday raptress shares her inspiring journey—from working at Red Lobster to becoming the reigning queen of hip-hop—during a one-hour special on E!
A determined Nicki, born Onika Tanya Maraj, moved from Trinidad to New York at a young age and studied theater at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art before pursuing a career in rap and eventually getting signed to Young Money by Lil Wayne.
Follow along as the eccentric star speaks about growing up poor and seeing her family struggle, the fifth grade teacher who “changed her life,” stealing her dad’s car before she got her license, and how Lil Wayne almost cut her verse from “BedRock.”
The show includes commentary from her parents and childhood friends, along with Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, DJ Clue, and Laurieann Gibson.
Make way for Young Money’s next superstar Lil Twist. Rap-Up TV caught up with the Mohawk-sporting rapper on the opening date of the “Closer to My Dreams” tour with Diggy Simmons, Mindless Behavior, and Tyga in Los Angeles, where he shared some of the all-star guests on his debut album Don’t Get It Twisted, due later this year.
The impressive roster includes Nicki Minaj (“Wind It”), two tracks with Lil Wayne, a Noah “40″ Shebib-produced song with Drake, and “a hot summer record” with Justin Bieber (“Wherever You Are”).
His friendship with the Biebs goes beyond the studio. The pop idol once called him on a whim to fly out to St. Lucia. “Not to even stunt, we go out big places,” said Twist. “We stayed in the biggest house on the island, which was on top of the mountain.”
When he’s not vacationing in paradise, the teen sensation has been working on a mixtape, The Golden Child, for release before his album. Plus, he has his eye on meeting one elusive MC. Find out who it is.
Webcam chat at Ustream
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 – Nicki Minaj leaves Katsuya with her entourage, and says “It feels great,” when asked about touring with Britney Spears. Then when someone asks what it’s going to take to finally get a gay rapper, Minaj responds, “I am a gay rapper, you got one!”