MTV’s 24-hour college network, today announced its 2010 mtvU Man and Woman of the Year: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and hip hop artist Nicki Minaj.
College students everywhere took notice of Nicki Minaj as she became the first solo female rapper to hit Number 1 on Billboard’s Rap Chart since 2003, changing the game in the male dominated hip hop space. Minaj also took a stand by speaking out against sexist double standards and bullying, and sparked a cultural dialogue about breaking down homophobic stereotypes within the industry. Beginning Wednesday, December 22nd, mtvU will profile Secretary Gates and Minaj to millions of students around the United States in short-form segments on-air and online.
Nicki Minaj left an unforgettable pink mark on 2010: breaking boundaries, achieving critical and commercial success, and beating the boys at their own game. One of the freshest voices to hit the male-dominated hip hop world in years, her debut album “Pink Friday” sold nearly 400,000 copies its first week and was one of the best-ever debuts for a female emcee. She also became the first artist to ever have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Beyond her many achievements, Nicki was a strong female role model who broke the mold – most notably on Kanye West’s “Monster,” where she didn’t sing the hook, but out-rapped some of the biggest names in the game, including Jay-Z, Rick Ross and ‘Ye himself. She also gave back, supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s efforts to end breast cancer, filming an “It Gets Better” video to support victims of LGBT bullying and appearing on the cover of “OUT” magazine, calling for an end to homophobia in hip hop.
“In addition to being a breakthrough artist and a college favorite, Nicki Minaj is a strong role model and voice of empowerment who speaks out for what she believes in – we’re thrilled to honor her as ‘mtvU’s Woman of the Year’” said Stephen Friedman, General Manager of MTV.