Nicki Minaj’s mother Carol Maraj couldn’t be more proud of her daughter, who recently became a mom herself for the first time. On the eve of Nicki’s 38th birthday, she released a collage of throwback photos of baby Nicki and reminisced on the night she gave birth to her future superstar.

“On this night, 38 yrs ago, I cherished every moment, for it would be the last night you would hear my heartbeat from the inside and tomorrow would be the first day of me seeing my heartbeat on the outside,” Ms. Maraj wrote, reflecting on the hours leading up to giving birth. “The joy of being able to hold my baby girl took over and I couldn’t wait to meet you. I think you wanted to meet me too because you came bright and early.”

Ms. Maraj is no stranger to singing her daughter’s praises publicly. In a 2015 conversation with ESSENCE, she reveals that she recognized Nicki’s musical talents as a teenager and encouraged her to pursue her gifts. In turn, Maraj also learned a lot from her daughter. “Nicki has taught me to be a good businesswoman,” she said. “I’m always looking to her. The world calls her a superstar. She’s Onika to me. She’ll always be my Onika, but there are times when I look at her and I say to myself, ‘Wow. She really is a superstar.’”

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Nicki has also been open with the world about the many sacrifices her mother made to give her and her siblings a better life. In her MTV documentary My Life Now, she describes being raised by her grandmother in Trinidad while Ms. Maraj relocated to New York City to establish a better life for her children. “A lot of times when you’re from the islands your parents will leave and then send for you because it’s easier when they’ve established themselves,” she said. “I thought it would be two days but it turned into two years without my mother.” She also credited her mom for being “the strength” that kept the family together as her father battled drug addiction.

Nicki’s mom wasn’t the only one to send birthday shout outs to the queen. Love continued pouring in from her fans and celebrity friends. Rapper Big Latto posted a throwback photo of herself wearing a “Barbie” chain as a teenager, proving she was (and is) a die-hard fan.

Happy Birthday Nicki Minaj!


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