Music Photos of the Week
November 29: Nicki Minaj sends love to her fans during an event to celebrate the launch of her new perfume in Sydney, Australia.

Happy 30th birthday, Nicki Minaj! Here's a look back at your awesome year.

As Nicki Minaj celebrates her 30th birthday on Dec. 8, we take a moment to look back at her 29th year.

Dear Nicki Minaj,

It's been a whirlwind year for you. From the start, you hit the ground running. You shined when performing alongside one of your musical idols, Madonna, and M.I.A. at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

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In February 12, you shocked the world when you unveiled "Roman Holiday," off "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," with an electrifying, complex performance at the 54th Grammy Awards. No matter what the critics said, you brushed it off because it was the "most comfortable" you've never been on stage and stayed "true to what I'm doing."

In April, you scored your second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as "Pink Friday Roman Reloaded" sold 253,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. You had your name all over the charts, not just the Billboard 200. Your single, "Starships," made its way to No. 5 on the Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts.

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You wasted no time in letting your fans hear your new material live. You embarked on your worldwide "Pink Friday Tour" on May 16 and later your "Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour" in October.

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There were some bumps along the road. You cancelled your performance at Hot 97's Summer Jam due to a few words said by Hot 97 Dj Peter Rosenberg, that made you feel as if you and your Barbz were not being "appreciated." Again, you stayed true to yourself, took a lesson from Lil Wayne in "knowing my worth" and pulled out.

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"When you disrespect Nicki Minaj, you're disrespecting my fans. I don't have a problem with anyone saying what they have to say to me. But don't make ['Starship' fans] feel inferior in any way for their personal taste in music," you said, when talking to Funkmaster Flex after the incident.

Despite what media, and at times fans, said of your transiton into pop, you kept winning. A month after revealing the bottle design of your new fragrance, "Pink Friday," in August, you won the award for Best Female Video at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.

Following your win, you were confirmed as one of the four judges on the 12th season of 'American Idol,' alongside Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, and Keith Urban. There were rumors of a tiff that occured between you and Mariah Carey, but like before, you brushed it off and later told media, that although disappointed, both of you were moving on from it.

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A day before the release of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The-Re-up" (Nov. 18), you took home two awards -- Artist and Album in Rap/Hip-Hop -- at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards.

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If that's not enough, you've teamed up with cosmetics brand MAC for a second Viva Glam collection, a lavender shade lipstick, to hit stores and MACCosmetics.com in Feb. 9.

Your year seems to be ending on a high note, but we're excited to see what 2013 has in store for you as you click your heels towards the year prepared to launch your own record label and fashion line.

If it's one thing that you've done is stay true to yourself, which calls for a celebration on your big day. Happy 30th birthday!

Love,

The Juice, Billboard.com

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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