There are pop stars and there is Nicki Minaj, a colossus of wild hairstyles, wilder clothes and wildest stage-shows - she's not your average rapper, for sure, and certainly not the type of girl who would be found sipping tea at a National Trust meeting. Well, you'd imagine so, right?
After several false starts with poorly-performing singles and better-selling mixtapes, the Trinidadian was noticed by Mr Controversial himself, Lil Wayne and immediately courted by his Young Money Entertainment label and given a contract. Minaj's first big US hit was 'Your Love', although her first chart hit over here was the follow-up, 'Check it Out' (with the ubiquitous rap-guest, this time Will.i.am).
She's had a few more since, though not quite as many as costume changes, something which the earnest chin-stroking rap fraternity have had trouble with. Rappers don't normally like pink. They also don't often bounce around on stage looking like they've careered into an IKEA créche whilst driving a candyfloss machine, but this all adds to the Minaj experience - colourful in dress, as well as language.
After scoring a notable #1 Billboard success across the pond with her debut album 'Pink Friday', the flamboyant icon is back for more - and this time she's keeping it 'toga'. Entitled 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded', this second bite of her cherry features tracks such as 'Starships' (the first single), the blunt 'Stupid Hoe' (not about gardening) and 'Roman in Moscow' (about her alter-ego Roman Zolanski). One can only imagine what the video to 'Sex in the Lounge' is going to feature. Gulp.
To support the album, out on 3rd April, and as well as several festival slots during the summer (T in the Park, V Festival and Wireless), Nicki Minaj will be performing a handful of headlining shows that promise theatre, colour and extravagance. The first shows are in Hammersmith for two nights - 24th and 25th June - followed by Birmingham on 26th and finally Manchester on 28th June 2012. Tickets are on sale at 9am on Friday morning, priced from £32.50 to £45. They'll probably sell out in the flutter of a pink eyelash!