A former protégé of Biggie Smalls, Lil' Kim went on to become a hip-hop icon and one the world's most successful female rappers. As a teenager she joined the Brooklyn crew Junior M.A.F.I.A. starring on their debut album 'Conspiracy' (1995) and causing a stir as a young girl making up rhymes as ferocious as any of her gangsta colleagues. Her debut solo album 'Hard Core' (1996) became a huge success, selling over two million copies and producing the hit singles 'Crush On You' and 'Not Tonight', but she was left distraught when her mentor Biggie Smalls was shot dead in 1997. Turning heads with her multi-coloured hair and outrageously skimpy outfits, she bounced back with the cathartic US top five albums 'The Notorious K.I.M.' (2000) and 'La Bella Mafia' (2003) and teamed up with M8a, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott on the Grammy Award-winning number one single 'Lady Marmalade'. She also scored the number two hit 'Magic Stick' with 50 Cent, but was forced to serve ten months in prison for perjury shortly after recording fourth album 'The Naked Truth' (2005) and hit single 'Lighters Up'. She later competed in the TV show 'Dancing With the Stars' in 2009 and started a war of words with Nicki Minaj, but she still stands as one of hip-hop's most controversial and forthright female voices. She released her fifth studio album, '9', in 2019.