Cardi B (age: 26) is an American rapper, songwriter, and television personality known for VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York and her top singles MotorSport, I Like It, Bodak Yellow and Bartier Cardi, and the studio album Invasion of Privacy.
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Cardi B Bio
Cardi B (born October 11, 1992 as Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) is an American rapper, songwriter, and television personality. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, she first attracted attention for discussing her career as a stripper on social media; she became an Internet celebrity after several of her posts and videos went viral on Vine and Instagram. From 2015 to 2017, she appeared as a regular cast member on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York to follow her music aspirations, and released two mixtapes—Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Cardi B has earned three number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100; “Bodak Yellow” made her the second female rapper to top the chart with a solo output—following Lauryn Hill in 1998, “I Like It” made her the first female rapper to attain multiple number-one songs on the chart, and her Maroon 5 collaboration “Girls Like You” extended that record. Released through Atlantic Records, her critically acclaimed debut studio album Invasion of Privacy (2018), on which the first two songs were included, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and broke several streaming records. That year, Time included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar was born on October 11, 1992 in The Bronx borough of New York City to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother. She was raised in the Highbridge neighborhood of the South Bronx, and spent much time at her paternal grandmother’s home in Washington Heights, which she credits with giving her “such a thick […] accent.” Almánzar developed the stage name “Cardi B” as a shortened form of Bacardi, a rum brand by which people used to call her. As a youth, Cardi B was a member of the Bloods, and has said she was a gang member since the age of 16.She went on to attend Renaissance High School for Musical Theater & Technology, a vocational high school on the Herbert H. Lehman High School campus.
During her teenage years, Cardi B was employed at a supermarket in Lower Manhattan, which was the last job that she held before turning to stripping at the age of 19. Upon being fired from the supermarket, her former manager recommended she work at a strip club. She has said she became a stripper to escape poverty and domestic violence, having been in an abusive relationship at the time.Cardi B has also said becoming a stripper was positive for her life in many ways: “It really saved me from a lot of things. When I started stripping I went back to school.” She says stripping was her only way out, a way to earn enough money to escape her dire situation and get an education. She attended Borough of Manhattan Community College before eventually dropping out.
In 2013, Cardi B began to gain publicity due to several of her videos going viral on social media, on Vine and her official Instagram page.
In November 2015, Cardi B made her musical debut on Jamaican reggae fusion singer Shaggy’s remix to his single “Boom Boom”, alongside fellow Jamaican dancehall singer Popcaan. She made her music video debut on December 15, 2015, with the song “Cheap Ass Weave”, her rendition of English rapper Lady Leshurr’s “Queen’s Speech 4”. On March 7, 2016, Cardi B released her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1. In November 2016, she was featured on the digital cover of Vibe magazine’s “Viva” issue. On September 12, 2016, KSR Group released the compilation Underestimated: The Album, which is a collaboration between KSR Group artists Cardi B, Hood Celebrityy, SwiftOnDemand, Cashflow Harlem, and Josh X. It was previously released only to attendees of their U.S. tour. KSR Group’s flagship artist Cardi B said “I wanted to make a song that would make girls dance, twerk and at the same time encourage them to go get that Shmoney,” in regard to the compilation’s single “What a Girl Likes”.
On January 20, 2017, Cardi B released her second mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2. In February 2017, Cardi B partnered with MAC Cosmetics and Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport for an event for New York Fashion Week. In late February, it was reported that Cardi B signed her first major record label recording contract with Atlantic Records. On February 25, 2017, Cardi B was the opening act for East Coast hip hop group The Lox’s Filthy America… It’s Beautiful Tour, alongside fellow New York City-based rappers Lil’ Kim and Remy Ma. In April 2017, she was featured in i-D’s “A-Z of Music” video sponsored by Marc Jacobs.
In May 2017, the nominees for the 2017 BET Awards were announced, revealing that Cardi B had been nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, tying with DJ Khaled and Kendrick Lamar for the most nominations with nine. Although she failed to win any awards, losing to Chance the Rapper and Remy Ma, respectively, Cardi B performed at the BET Awards after party show. On June 11 2017, during Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam music festival, Remy Ma brought out Cardi B, along with The Lady of Rage, MC Lyte, Young M.A, Monie Love, Lil’ Kim and Queen Latifah, to celebrate female rappers and perform Latifah’s 1993 hit single “U.N.I.T.Y.” about female empowerment. In June 2017, it was revealed that Cardi B would be on the cover of The Fader’s Summer Music issue for July/August 2017. She performed at MoMA PS1 on August 19 to a crowd of 4,000.
On June 16, 2017, Atlantic Records released Cardi B’s commercial debut single, “Bodak Yellow”, via digital distribution. The song climbed the charts for several months, and, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated September 25, 2017, “Bodak Yellow” reached number one on the chart, making Cardi B the first female rapper to do so with a solo single since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” debuted atop the chart in 1998. The song stayed atop the charts for three consecutive weeks, tying with American pop singer Taylor Swift‘s “Look What You Made Me Do” as the longest running female at the number one spot in 2017. Cardi B became the first person of Dominican descent to reach number one in the history of the Hot 100, since it was launched in 1958. “Bodak Yellow” was eventually certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). An editor of The New York Times called it “the rap anthem of the summer”. “Bodak Yellow” received nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 60th Grammy Awards. The song won Single of the Year at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards.
With her collaborations “No Limit” and “MotorSport”, she became first female rapper to land her first three entries in the top 10 of the Hot 100, and the first female artist to achieve the same on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
In October 2017, Cardi B headlined Power 105.1’s annual Powerhouse music celebration, alongside The Weeknd, Migos, and Lil Uzi Vert, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In December, she released two songs: a collaboration with Puerto Rican singer Ozuna titled “La Modelo”, and “Bartier Cardi”, the second single from her debut album.
2018–present: Invasion of Privacy
On January 3, 2018, Cardi B was featured on Bruno Mars’ remix version of “Finesse”, and also appeared in the 90’s inspired video. On January 18, 2018, Cardi B became the first woman to have five top 10 singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. She released another single, “Be Careful”, on March 30, 2018, a week before her album’s release.
Her debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy, was released on April 6, 2018, to universal acclaim from music critics. Editors from Variety and The New York Times called it “one of the most powerful debuts of this millennium” and “a hip-hop album that doesn’t sound like any of its temporal peers,” respectively. Time magazine named it the best album of 2018. The album entered at number one in the United States, while she became the first female artist to chart 13 entries simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100, on the chart issue dated April 21. It also became the most streamed album by a female artist in a single week in Apple Music, and the largest on-demand audio streaming week ever for an album by a woman. Following the album’s release, during a performance on Saturday Night Live, Cardi B officially announced her pregnancy after much media speculation.
Several months later, in July 2018, the album’s fourth single, “I Like It”, which features vocals from Bad Bunny and J Balvin, reached number one on the Hot 100; this marked her second number one on the chart and made her the first female rapper to achieve multiple chart-toppers. Her collaboration with Maroon 5, “Girls Like You,” also reached number one the Hot 100 chart, extending her record among female rappers. The song’s music video reached 1 billion views on YouTube. With “Girls Like You” following “I Like It” at the top of the Billboard Radio Songs chart, Cardi B became the first female rapper to ever replace herself at number one on that chart. It spent sixteen weeks atop the Radio Songs chart, tying Mariah Carey‘s “We Belong Together” as the longest-leading number one this century. The single spent seven weeks atop the Hot 100, making Cardi the female rapper with most cumulative weeks atop the chart, with eleven weeks. In October 2018, Invasion of Privacy was certified double platinum by the RIAA, while 12 from the 13 tracks were certified gold or higher.
Cardi B received the most nominations for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards with 12 mentions, winning three awards. She also tied with Drake for the most nominations at the 2018 American Music Awards. She won three AMAs and performed at the ceremony. Her single “Money” and her collaboration with DJ Snake “Taki Taki” entered the top 20 on the Hot 100. “Taki Taki” topped the charts in a number of Hispanic countries. People en Español named her Star of the Year.
In 2015, Cardi B joined the cast of the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York, debuting in season six. She is considered the breakout star of the show’s sixth season. The sixth and seventh seasons chronicle her rise to stardom and her turbulent relationship with her incarcerated fiancé. On December 30, 2016, after two seasons, she announced that she would be leaving the show to further pursue a career in music.
She appeared on the December 9, 2015 episode of Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne. On April 6, 2016, she was on the twelfth episode of Khloé Kardashian’s Kocktails with Khloé: In it, she revealed how she told her mother that she was a stripper. In November 2016, it was announced that she would be joining the cast of the BET series Being Mary Jane. TVLine describes her character, Mercedes, as a “round-the-way beauty with a big weave, big boobs and a big booty to match her oversized, ratchet personality.”
Cardi B guest-starred on the celebrity panel show Hip Hop Squares, appearing on the March 13 and April 3, 2017 episodes. On July 18, she appeared on The Wendy Williams Show, where she performed “Bodak Yellow”, and answered questions about her name and the status of her love life. Since then, Cardi B has appeared on various television shows to promote her music, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Cardi B, along with Chance the Rapper and T.I., will be a judge for Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, a 10-part hip-hop talent search that is set to debut in 2019.