Nicki Minaj Vs. Rihanna: Which Top AMA Nominee Is Likely to Go Broke First?

The American Music Awards 2012 is rapidly approaching and the nation’s most popular entertainers along with their die-hard fans are anxiously awaiting a night of amazing red carpet moments, exciting performances and the chance to see which artists will take home the coveted award.

Both Nicki Minaj and Rihanna have been nominated for multiple awards, including one category they share — Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock). These two women are undoubtedly at the top of their game, having sold millions of albums, respectively. But with the millions of dollars made over the course of their careers, how likely are they to hold onto what’s in their savings accounts?

Who Are Rihanna and Nicki Minaj?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you already know the names Robin “Rihanna” Fenty and Onika “Nicki Minaj” Miraj.

These two American Music Awards nominees have taken the popular music world by storm as a part of their respective musical families: Rihanna belongs to Def Jam Records (signed at the time Jay-Z was president) and Nicki to Young Money (the ultra-successful rap group masterminded by Lil Wayne).

Both artists have Caribbean backgrounds, Rihanna born in Barbados and Nicki Minaj born about 250 miles away in St. James, Trinidad and Tobago.

While Nicki Minaj is a few years older, both young women have experienced a tremendous amount of success in their 20s and, despite a bit of controversy here and there, are on track toward continued success as entertainers.

AMA Music Awards Divas’ Financial Decisions

There are a lot of broke celebrities in Hollywood, and not everyone is as financially-gifted as AMA nominee Taylor Swift. So how have Rihanna and Nicki Minaj fared so far in managing their money?


As of May 2012, Forbes estimated her net worth at $56 million. A lot of her money has come from album sales, which according to Def Jam has soared above 100 million over the course of her career.

She has also earned a hefty sum from her endorsement deals, which have included Nivea, Nike, J.C. Penney, and more recently, the Barbados Tourist Authority (BTA), which allows her to promote her home island.

But despite her massive financial success over the years, the pop songstress made headlines in July when she sued her former accountants, blaming them for tens of millions of dollars in losses as a result of bad bookkeeping and failure to prevent spending during a 2009 tour that lost massive amounts of money.

This was not the first lawsuit filed by Rihanna as a result of financial losses. In 2011, she sued a real estate company in Los Angeles over the $6.9 million purchase of a home in 2009 that she said was inhabitable due to serious structural defects.

Since these occurrences, Rihanna has reportedly reversed much of her loss thanks to touring profits made from June 2011 to December 2011.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has not been active quite as many years as Rihanna, which might explain her seemingly spotless track record when it comes to managing her finances. Her net worth has been unofficially estimated at $14 million, largely thanks to millions in album sales and one single, “Super Bass,” being certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA.

Nicki has also scored a ton of endorsements in her ongoing career, including those with Adidas, MAC Cosmetics and Pepsi. She’s been featured as a voice actress in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, is the controversial new American Idol judge and has released her own perfume, Pink Friday.

So where do her financial woes come into play? The financial loss doesn’t really come out of her bank account. Instead, complaints came in 2010 when the star was paid an exorbitant amount for a show performed in Trinidad that allegedly left the island broke.

After paying her $825,000, Trinidad was said to make such a small profit from the show that it was not able to pay for necessary community events. It’s hard to say whether this was a good financial decision for Nicki Minaj or a bad one for Trinidad, but it sure doesn’t seem to have taken much from her wallet.

And the American Music Awards 2012 Winner Is…

After examining the financial decisions of both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, it’s clear that both women have learned a thing or two about raking in money. But based on past financial issues, the American Music Awards nominee who wins the “most likely to go broke first” award is (drum roll, please)…Rihanna.

Lucky for her, she has plenty of experience in regaining her losses. So while she may eventually go broke over the course of her career, she is even more likely to earn it all back again.