Nicki Minaj stunned fans Thursday by abruptly announcing that she is retiring from the entertainment business to concentrate on starting a family. "I've decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now," she tweeted. "To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, in the box—cuz ain't nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE." The 36-year-old rap star is dating Kenneth "Zoo" Petty and has hinted that they plan to get married, reports the BBC. The announcement "seemingly came out of nowhere," since the Grammy-nominated rapper has been very active this year, Billboard reports. She released a new single in June and was believed to have been working on a new album.
In a follow-up tweet to upset fans, Minaj apologized for the "abrupt and insensitive" announcement and promised that she would have more to say about the decision. Minaj, one of the most influential female rappers in music history, has spoken about opening doors for a new generation of stars, but has also become increasingly critical of the music industry in recent years, notes Andre Wheeler at the Guardian. He suspects she might be "pulling the biggest troll of 2019," though her retirement may have been foreshadowed in her lyrics. "As long as seven years from now I'm taking my daughter to preschool," she rapped on "All Things Go" on 2014. (Read more Nicki Minaj stories.)