6: Nicki Minaj – Powerful Women of 2013
From her crazy outfits and hair to her (sometimes) ridiculous antics, Nicki Minaj has not only crossed over to pop stardom but is also a talented songwriter -- making her a perfect fit for this list.
A graduate of the famed LaGuardia High School in New York City, Minaj's first big appearance in the rap world was on the popular street DVD, 'The Come Up Volume 11.' Then after releasing two mixtapes, she won Female Artist of the Year at the 2008 Underground Music Awards. She was signed to Young Money Entertainment in 2009, and taken under Lil Wayne's wing and collaborated with the likes of Robin Thicke and Rihanna before releasing her debut LP, 'Pink Friday,' in 2010. The album was certified platinum and spawned hit singles like 'Super Bass' and 'Moment 4 Life' featuring Drake. 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' came in 2012, pushing her career further into popularity, especially with the LP's first single, 'Starships.'