Nicki Minaj Named Billboard's 'Rising Star' for 2011

Photos: 2011 American Music Awards

Nicki Minaj at the 2011 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on November 20th, 2011.

In being named Billboard's Rising Star, Minaj follows in the footsteps of Jazmine Sullivan (2010), Lady Gaga (2009), and Colbie Caillat, who in 2008 was the first artist ever to be given this honor.

"Nicki Minaj has established herself as a force in hip-hop and pop music, and we're thrilled to recognize her accomplishments over the past year by honoring her as this year's Rising Star," says Bill Werde, Billboard's Editorial Director. "Her unique style and powerful sound will undoubtedly lead to a long and lustrous career, and we look forward to seeing where she goes and what she does next."

Billboard's annual Women in Music Event, presented by Crest 3D White and Target, celebrates the most powerful and talented women in the music business, coinciding with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music Power Players list. This year's event, the sixth of its kind, will be taking place on Friday, Dec. 2 at Capitale in New York City.