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Nicki Minaj is a mom! The rapper and her husband, Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, welcomed their first child together on Sept. 30, 2020, a source confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.
Minaj announced her pregnancy news on Instagram in July, alongside a set of glam snapshots featuring the singer baring her baby bump.
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The pregnancy announcement came nine months after she and Petty tied the knot and 10 months after Minaj, 37, sent fans into a frenzy when she shared her intention to step out of the spotlight to focus on family. “I’ve decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me … Love you for LIFE,” she wrote on Twitter.
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“Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes,” she captioned one of her bump-baring shots.
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In May, the singer sparked pregnancy rumors when she admitted that she’d been experiencing common pregnancy symptoms — including food cravings, nausea and “peeing non stop.” When fans asked if she would share photos of her baby bump, she teased, “Yea in a couple of months. The world ain’t ready yet 🥰😘.”
The rapper does have a history of stoking pregnancy rumors — and getting a kick out of the reactions. On a February 2019 episode of Queen Radio, Minaj announced she was expecting before backtracking and explaining it was a big joke.
“I’m pregnant,” she said, releasing a loud laugh moments later. “They really gon’ believe me — my manager’s face! He was about to die!”
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In all seriousness, Minaj has spoken openly over the years about her desire to be a mother. “Ten years from now, I will have two children, unless my husband wants three,” she told Cosmopolitan in 2015, envisioning her future marriage, as well. “I will be into my fitness a lot more, I will stop yo-yo dieting, and I’ll be a housewife with careers that I can run from home. I want to be able to cook for my children, bake cookies for them, and watch them grow up. I just want to be mommy. Take them to school, go to the parent-teacher conference, help them with their homework, and put their work on the refrigerator.”
The “Yikes” rapper opened up to Complex in a December 2014 cover story about how important becoming a mother is to her, telling the outlet, “If I’m done with my fifth album and I don’t have a child by then, no matter how much money I have, I would be disappointed, as a woman, because I feel like I was put here to be a mother.”
She added that marriage would have to come first — and went on to tie the knot with her childhood boyfriend in October 2019.
“I have definitely put off the wife thing because I don’t want people in my business. I’d rather not do anything that’s going to be on paper but I definitely will be married before I have my baby. I want to make sure I do it in that order,” she added to Complex at the time.
“After the fifth [album], I’ll probably have my baby,” she added in her Complex interview, going on to speculate if she would be a working mother. “I wonder if I’m going to be one of those women who balances my child with a career… I don’t want the child feeling like they don’t have all of my attention, so I always said, ‘I’m going to take a little break.’ But we’ll see.”
“I have given myself a time limit to take my professional satisfaction. I do not want to work all my life and never experience the joys of a family,” she told Vogue Italia in 2014. “It is not time yet, but when I decide to get married and become a mother I would like to take a break and devote myself completely to my child.”
More recently, Minaj told Wonderland magazine in 2018, “I love children. I’m not going to put that off for much longer.”
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