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WATCH: Rapper Nicki Minaj's 'Complex' Magazine Interview

*NICKI MINAJ'S ETHNICITY ACCORDING TO GOOGLE SEARCH

600

The number of people worldwide who Google the question, “Is Nicki Minaj Indian?” each month.

2,400

The number of people worldwide who Google the question, “Is Nicki Minaj black?” each month.

2,400

The number of people worldwide who Google the question, “What race is Nicki Minaj?” each month.

3,600

The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Nicki Minaj ethnicity” each month.

*All figures for “Nicki Minaj's Ethnicity According to Google Search”, supplied by Google. Stats include global totals for laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.

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WATCH: Nicki Minaj On Britain's 'Graham Norton Show'

What Is Rapper Nicki Minaj's Ethnicity And Nationality?
Black? Indian? Other? 200,000 Fans Ask Google

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THE AESTHETIC ENIGMA: Is she black, white, Indian or Other? Many of music diva and former American Idol judge Nicki Minaj's fans around the world are curious about her ethnicity, nationality and her family background, with approximately 200,000 fans a year Googling various questions about her racial ancestry.

MUSIC STAR NICKI MINAJ PROVOKES QUESTIONS. Her image is a clash of ethnicities that sends viewers
scrambling to the Internet in search of the truth about her race and nationality. By Ben Arogundade.

Google+

THE NEW YORK TIMES called her “the Cindy Sherman of rap”, referencing her myriad of alter egos and their outlandishly colourful array of costumes, hairstyles, weaves, wigs and brash make-up. In reality her origins are much simpler: we know her as Nicki Minaj, but she was born Onika Tanya Maraj on December 8, 1982 in Saint James, Port Of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Of her family background, both parents, Robert and Carol, are Trinidadians of African heritage, although her father — a financial executive and part-time gospel singer — is also of South Asian (Indian) ancestry.

BARBIE BIO
Minaj — whose single “Super Bass” has clocked close to 350 million You Tube views — endured an unsettled early life and childhood. Initially she didn't live with her parents, and was placed with her grandmother in Saint James instead. Then at the age of five her mother collected her and they moved to Queens, New York. Minaj's memories of her father during this period were of a man who drank heavily, took drugs and was violent toward her mother.

AN INDIAN ANCESTRY
Nicki's family surname, “Maraj” is a Hindu term thought to be derived from the word “Maharaj”, which means “great king”. Historically, her ancestry dates back to the Indians who first arrived in Trinidad as contracted labourers in 1845. By 1917, 130,000 of them, mainly Hindu's, had settled there, with many of them forming relationships with the local Trinidadians. Nicki Minaj's ethnic ancestry is but one of thousands of stories which trace their roots back to this era of Indian immigration.

ETHNICITY AND BACKGROUND? ASK GOOGLE
As her success has grown, Nicki Minaj's nationality and ethnic ancestry has increasingly become the subject of much debate and fascination amongst her fans, many of whom find it difficult to pinpoint her exact racial heritage and genealogy beneath the dense artifice of multi-coloured weave hairstyles and elaborate day-glo make-up. Questions about the music diva's ancestry, her mother and father, and their family background are played out online, where a total of approximately 200,000 people per year type their queries into the search engines of their computers and smartphones. According to statistics supplied by Google, 2,400 global Internet-users per month ask the question, “What race is Nicki Minaj?”, while a further 600 users ask,“Is Nicki Minaj Indian?”, each month. Her image, difficult to pin down, swerves and shape-shifts dramatically from from black to white, from blonde to brunette, from curly to straight, and from dirty to dangerous, always staying one step ahead of her fans expectations.

Black Beauty by Ben Arogundade is out now.

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MOTHER AND DAUGHTER: Music star Nicki Minaj's parents, Robert and Carol Maraj, are of African and Indian ancestry. Her mother, pictured above left, is from Trinidad and Tobago.

NICKI MINAJ — 3 CRAZY COVERS; 1]. Nicki Minaj on the cover of the April-May 2012 edition of Complex. 2]. Minaj on the front of the November 2010 edition of Billboard. 3]. Nicki Minaj fronts the June 2010 edition of Black Men.

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THIS MONTH'S PICK

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NICKI MINAJ'S INDIA
Find Out About Her Hindu Ancestry And Mixed Ethnicity

NEXT: NICKI AND MARIAH

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AESTHETICS & RACE
Is Singer Mariah Carey Black? 65,000 Online Fans Don't Know. Get The Story.

NEXT: REAL OR FAKE? NICKI MINAJ'S BACKSIDE

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ENTER THE EAST:
The World's Top 10
East Asian Models According To Google Search:
NEW NO.1

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The Sexual Language of Strangers
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BEAUTY HISTORY & CULTURE

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