11. Nicki Minaj
Stock Watch: Up. Thanks to a series of masterful guest spots on hit songs by everyone from Mariah to Usher to Lil Wayne (she made Kanye and Jay-Z look like her students during her verse on “Monster”), Nicki Minaj was a budding star before she’d ever released an album. No surprise, then, that the wigged wonder went platinum and hit No. 1 with her debut, “Pink Friday.” She is currently cementing her status as pop newest (and weirdest) force on tour with Britney Spears.
Latest Album: 2010’s “Pink Friday”
Extracurricular Activities: While an internet hoax earlier this week claimed Minaj was dead (#ripnickiminaj was a trending topic), rest assured that Harajuku Barbie is alive and well. In the past few days, she’s debuted a new video for “Where Them Girls At” with Flo Rida and flirted with Justin Bieber at the BET Awards, where she nabbed the trophy for Best Female Hop-Hop Artist. —Jeff Royer
(Photo: Ethan Miller, Getty Images)
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