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Born Kimberly Denise Jones on July 11, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York, Lil’ Kim is a Grammy-winning rapper and singer best known for being the first female rapper to have a number 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit – Lady Marmalade, alongside Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mya. Lil’ Kim’s parents separated when she 9, after which she stayed with older brother Christopher with her dad. Growing up, she met Christopher Wallace, who is better known as Notorious B.I.G, who had been influential in both her personal and professional life.
In 1994, Lil’ Kim joined the group called Junior M.A.F.I.A with their first and only album called Conspiracy. Their first single reached the top of the rap charts. Meanwhile, their third single “Get Money” was certified gold. After Junior M.A.F.I.A, Lil’ Kim went on to establish a solo career by recording her debut album. She released “Hard Core” which debuted on the eleventh spot on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Rap albums chart. Later on, she teamed up with the likes of Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat, and Left Eye of TLC. In 1999, she performed on P. Diddy’s “No Way Out” tour, along with her own label called Queen Bee Entertainment.
In 2001, Lil’ Kim teamed up with Aguilera, Pink, and Mya for the remake of Lady Marmalade for the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge. The song became number one in 50 countries, and Lil’ Kim consequently became the first female rapper in history to have her first number 1 Hot 100 hit and her first Grammy.
In March 2005, Lil’ Kim suffered a legal altercation after she was found guilty of conspiracy and perjury for lying to a grand jury about her friends’ involvement in a 2001 shooting incident in Manhattan. She is one of the stars to appear on the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars on ABC.