Nicki Minaj's mother hopes rapper daughter will one day 'sing unto the Father'

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Rapper Nicki Minaj's mother, Carol Maraj, discussed her budding gospel music career and domestic violence advocacy in a recent interview.

Maraj also credited the instilling of Christian values in her daughter as the impetus for Minaj's success.

"My life as a Christian and believer was opened to Onika," she told the Christian Post.

Minaj's birth name is Onika Maraj.

"As her career continued to thrive, she developed more concerns about life."

"She knew I believed in the power of prayer, therefore, she constantly called me and our pastor, to pray for different concerns she may have...I believe by her acknowledging the power of prayer, and her strong desire to tithe together with a praying mother, contributed to her success."

Although her multi-platinum rap star daughter has been criticised for her revealing outfits, explicit lyrics, and crass image, Maraj has faith that her daughter will use her talents for the Lord.

"The Bible says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old would not depart from it," she said. "I trust that one day Onika will sing unto the Father, because a seed has already been planted. Nothing is too big to God."

Minaj has also toned down her physical appearance considerably in recent months - forgoing the extravagant wigs and costumes for a more natural look.

In Minaj's songs, she often discusses a turbulent childhood filled with violence and poverty. Her mother described how the family was delivered from darkness.

"My husband was a drug user, and would usually come home to sleep or steal," she explained.

"Seeking guidance in my life, I went to a revival (church) service with a neighbor who invited me. During service, the preacher made an altar call. My neighbor then turned and whispered, 'God is waiting for you, Carol. He wants to restore your life.'"

In addition to restoring her marriage, Maraj was called to open The Carol Maraj Foundation to empower women, and begin a gospel music career.

"I learned to release every area of my life to the Lord- physical, emotional, social and spiritual," she said. "And that is what I think everyone should do to help overcome any issues."

Maraj's single, "God's Been Good", is available on iTunes. A portion of sales benefits domestic violence awareness.