Why did Nicki Minaj change her name?

She may be one of the world's most famous and well-known rappers and music artists, but did you know that Nicki Minaj isn't actually her real name?

Read on to find out more about Nicki Minaj's real name and previous personas.

Where Did Nicki Minaj Get Her Name?

In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Nicki Minaj revealed she's not the one who actually changed her name. In fact, she got her stage name while signing one of her first production deals early in her career.

"Somebody changed my name. One of the first production deals I signed, the guy wanted my name to be Minaj and I fought him tooth and nail. But he convinced me. I’ve always hated it," Minaj told the publication.

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Despite being known and adored by many as Nicki Minaj, the record-breaking superstar revealed that her family and friends don't call her by her famous stage name.

"My rule is, whatever you were calling me four years ago is what you should be calling me now, because I don’t like it when my family or close friends call me Nicki Minaj. To me I’m not Nicki Minaj when I’m with them," she shared.

Nicki Minaj's Nicknames

Over the years, Minaj has revealed what other names she has gone by in the past.

Speaking to New York magazine in 2010, she shared that her first persona was called "Cookie," and she was also called "Harajuku Barbie" at one point.

Other alter-egos include "Roman," "Nicki the Ninja" and "Nicki Lewinski."

What Is Nicki Minaj's Real Name?

The "Super Bass" rapper was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Dec. 8, 1982.

However, Nicki Minaj changed her legal name to Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty when she married husband Kenneth Petty in 2019.

Since marrying, Minaj and Petty have welcomed one child together, a son known as "Papa Bear."

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