Lil Kim is a rapper, singer-songwriter, author, record producer and actress. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. As a teenager, Lil Kim would rap for fun, being heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross, and fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and Lady of Rage.
When word got to The Notorious B.I.G. that Lil Kim could rhyme, he made her perform a freestyle for him on the spot. Impressed with her, he took her in and she began her music career in 1995 with the group Junior M.A.F.I.A., whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles.
Lil’ Kim’s debut studio album, Hard Core (1996) was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and spawned three consecutive #1 rap hits: “No Time”, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night remix)”, and “Crush on You”, a record for a female rapper. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003), were certified Platinum, making her the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have at least 3 platinum albums.
Lil Kim was featured on the single, “Lady Marmalade”, which also had guest vocals by fellow recording artists Mýa, Pink and Christina Aguilera (a remake of the 1975 smash hit, originally recorded by LaBelle) which went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to have a #1 on that chart. In addition, the remake won two MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year, and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 44th Grammy Awards in 2002.
In 2005, Lil Kim served a yearlong prison sentence for lying to a jury about her friends’ involvement in a shooting four years earlier. During her incarceration, her fourth album The Naked Truth was released. She returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
In 1998, Lil Kim was announced as the face for the fashion brand Candie’s. She became the first and only rapper to date to endorse the brand. In 2000, Kim signed a deal with fashion house Iceberg, and also with cosmetics brand MAC to help endorse their VIVA GLAM line of lipsticks and lip glosses alongside singer Mary J. Blige. The MAC VIVA GLAM III campaign, which was built around a plum-brown lipstick, helped raise $4 million for the company in one year and became the most successful VIVA GLAM campaign to date. Due to the success, the two signed on for a second year.
Lil Kim also modeled for the urban fashion line Baby Phat in August, 2000. In March, 2001, Kim, along with several other artists, featured in a commercial for Apple’s Mac computers. It highlighted how users can burn custom CD’s on their Mac. In 2003, Kim became the spokesperson for American clothing brand Old Navy. That same year her song “The Jump Off” was used in a commercial for AOL’s dial up Internet service.
In 2004 it was announced that Lil Kim would launch a designer watch collection titled Royalty by Lil’ Kim. Jeweler Jacob Arabo manufactured the watches. She also debuted her first clothing line, entitled Hollyhood. Kim also lent her voice to the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY which she was featured in.
In 2005, Lil Kim collaborated on a shoe line with high end shoe store Petite Peton. In August 2010, Kim signed a deal with Three Olives Vodka to become the face for their Purple vodka. In September of that same year Kim, along with her cousin cousin Katrise Jones, opened their first beauty salon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The salon, titled Salon Se Swa, currently has 5 locations across the United States with locations coming soon in Atlanta, GA and New York. That same month, Kim also launched her second clothing line entitled 24/7 Goddess Collection at Charlotte NC Fashion Week. In November, 2012, Kim began endorsing Cîroc vodka, announcing herself as the “First Lady” of the brand.
How Lil Kim Made Her Money – Rap Singer
Estimated Net Worth: $8 Million
Birthday: July 11, 1974
[image via JakeisPhat]