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Lil' Kim
Lil Kim Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2012 (modified).jpg
Lil' Kim in 2012
Kimberly Denise Jones

(1974-07-11) July 11, 1974 (age 49)
Other names Queen Bee
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • model
  • television personality
Years active 1994–present
Partner(s) Mr. Papers (2012–2014, 2020–present)
Children 1
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres Hip hop
  • eOne
  • Atlantic
  • Queen Bee
  • Big Beat
  • Undeas

Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1974), better known by her stage name Lil' Kim, is an American rapper and singer. She was born and raised in New York City and lived much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from home. In her teens, she would freestyle rap, influenced by fellow female hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and the Lady of Rage. In 1994, she was discovered by fellow rapper The Notorious B.I.G., who invited her to join his group Junior M.A.F.I.A.; their debut album, Conspiracy, generated two top 20 singles in the United States and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Lil' Kim's debut studio album Hard Core (1996) was certified double platinum in March 2001. Since its release, it has sold more than six million copies worldwide and spawned three successful singles: "No Time," "Not Tonight (Ladies Night)," and "Crush on You." Hard Core had the highest debut in the US for a female rap album at the time. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003) were also certified platinum. In 2001, Lil' Kim reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Lady Marmalade" (a remake of LaBelle's 1974 single), alongside Mýa, Pink, and Christina Aguilera. The song also won her the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Other notable singles from this period include "The Jump Off" and "Magic Stick," the latter of which reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her 2nd-highest-charting single as a lead artist.

In 2005, Lil' Kim served a one-year prison sentence for lying to a jury about her friends' involvement in a shooting four years earlier. During her incarceration, her fourth album, The Naked Truth, was released to positive reviews from critics. A reality series covering her sentence, Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, premiered on BET in 2006. She then released her first mixtape, Ms. G.O.A.T. (2008) and returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Throughout the 2010s, she continued to release music and perform sporadically, collaborating with artists such as Faith Evans, Remy Ma, and Fabolous. Her fifth studio album, 9, was released in 2019.

Lil' Kim has been referred to as the "Queen of Rap," as well as her alias "Queen Bee" by several media outlets. She has sold more than 15 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Her songs "No Time," "Big Momma Thang," and "Not Tonight (Ladies Night)" were each listed on Complex's list of the 50 Best Rap Songs By Women. In 2012, she was listed on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music list at number 45, the second-highest position for a solo female hip-hop artist. Aside from music, she is also known for her risk-taking and luxurious approach to fashion which has inspired many artists; she has been cited as a fashion icon.

Early life, family and education

Jones was born in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, the second child of Linwood Jones, a former U.S. Marine. She has an older brother, Christopher. As a child, Jones attended Queen of All Saints Elementary School in Brooklyn. When she was nine years old, her parents separated, and Jones was raised by her father, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. At fourteen, she left home, began living on the streets, and ended up dropping out of high school.

As a teenager, Jones met Christopher Wallace, known professionally as the Notorious B.I.G., who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly after Wallace gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records, founded by Sean "Puffy" Combs. Jones attended Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School for two-and-a-half years. Many of her friends also went there. Shen then went to Brooklyn College Academy to finish her remaining year and a half of high school. This was the same school that fellow rappers Nas and Foxy Brown attended.


In 1994, B.I.G. was instrumental in introducing and promoting the Brooklyn-based group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Jones, who had adopted the stage name Lil' Kim, was a member of the group. The group's debut album, Conspiracy, was released to mediocre reviews and moderate sales on August 29, 1995, but debuted at number eight on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 69,000 copies in its first week of release. Wallace wrote and ghostwrote most of the album's material. Three hit singles came from Conspiracy: "Player's Anthem," "I Need You Tonight," and "Get Money." The RIAA certified Conspiracy a Gold album on December 6, 1995. "Player's Anthem" and "Get Money" were certified gold and platinum respectively. Lil' Kim's increasing popularity as a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A. allowed her to start a solo career shortly after the Conspiracy album was released. By late 1995, she began working on what would become her debut album, Hard Core.

1996–2002: Hard Core and The Notorious K.I.M.

After a year with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Lil' Kim began her solo career by making guest performances on R&B albums and recording her debut album, Hard Core, which was released in November 1996. The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time, and number 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week of release and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. It was certified double platinum by the RIAA on March 14, 2001, after having been certified gold on January 6, 1997, and platinum on June 3, 1997.

The album's lead single "No Time," a duet with Combs, reached the top spot of the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart and was certified gold by the RIAA. The following single was "Crush on You," a remixed version of the track that appeared on Hard Core. A remix of the album's track "Not Tonight" saw Lil' Kim team up with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat, and Left Eye of TLC with the song peaking at 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was part of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie Nothing to Lose, nominated for a Grammy Award, and certified platinum. She became the first female rapper to have three consecutive number ones on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart.

In 1997, Lil' Kim promoted Hard Core by performing on P. Diddy's "No Way Out" tour. The tour continued through to 1998 and became one of the highest-grossing hip-hop tours of all time, grossing an estimated $16 million. That same year, she launched her own label, Queen Bee Entertainment.

From 1998 to 2000, Lil' Kim continued working under the management of B.I.G.'s best friend, Damion "D-Roc" Butler's "Roc Management," touring and modeling for various fashion and pop culture companies including Candie's, Versace, Iceberg, and Baby Phat.

On June 27, 2000, Lil' Kim released her second album, The Notorious K.I.M. The album marked a new image and revamped look for the rapper. Despite the limited success of its singles, the album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 229,000 copies in its first week. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, four weeks after its release. It was on this LP that the well-known hip-hop feud between Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown escalated. In 2001, Lil' Kim teamed up with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mýa to remake "Lady Marmalade," which was originally performed by the group Labelle (which included diva Patti LaBelle) 25 years earlier.

The song was recorded for the Moulin Rouge! film soundtrack, released in April 2001, and stayed at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song also went to number 1 in 50 countries around the world. This was a major accomplishment for female rap, as well as for Lil' Kim, who scored her first number 1 Hot 100 hit and became the second solo female rapper in history to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

"Lady Marmalade" also garnered Lil' Kim her first Grammy Award. The second single, "Kimnotyze," was released as the lead single of record producer DJ Tomekk's compilation album Beat Of Life, Vol 1. It was released in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany only. The song was successful, becoming Lil' Kim's third consecutive top 10 hit in Germany after her number 5 hit "Lady Marmalade."

In 2002, Lil' Kim recorded a new entrance theme for then World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Women's Champion Trish Stratus entitled "Time to Rock 'n Roll," which was used during broadcasts, until Stratus' retirement. The single was released on WWE Anthology, a compilation of entrance theme music to various professional wrestling superstars. Lil' Kim released the song "What's The Word" in mid-2002. Despite not having an official release, it went on to peak at number 9 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. It would later be released on the Japan edition of her third studio album, La Bella Mafia, as a bonus track.

2003–2005: La Bella Mafia

On March 4, 2003, Lil' Kim released her third studio album, La Bella Mafia. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 166,000 copies in its first week, giving Lil' Kim her second consecutive top 5 album. The album received generally positive reviews from critics, receiving a score of 65 on Metacritic. A buzz single, "Came Back For You," was released ahead of the album, the music video for the song featured reality television personality Victoria Gotti.

The first single, "The Jump Off," featuring Mr. Cheeks, peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. A US-only single, "Thug Luv," featuring Twista, was released in the last quarter of 2003 and peaked at number 60 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album was certified platinum in the US, selling over 1.1 million copies.

Lil' Kim promoted the album with a string of concerts, which also featured DMX and Nas. Lil' Kim was nominated for five Source Awards and won two ("Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year," and "Female Single of the Year"). The album also got two Grammy Award nominations for Best Female Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Collaboration. She was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with singer Christina Aguilera for the song "Can't Hold Us Down," from Aguilera's album Stripped.

Greg Thomas, an English professor at Syracuse University, began teaching "Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B@#$H Lyricism 101." Lil' Kim herself was a guest speaker. David Horowitz criticized the course as "academic degeneracy and decline." Lil' Kim also made an appearance on the multi-platform videogame Def Jam: Fight for NY. Lil' Kim provided voice-overs for her part in the storyline, where the player may fight an opponent to have Lil' Kim as their girlfriend.

In 2004, Lil' Kim recorded a cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" which was used as the opening theme for Victoria Gotti's reality series Growing Up Gotti. That same year, Lil' Kim was featured on the remix of "Naughty Girl" by Beyoncé. In December 2004, Lil' Kim began recording a pilot for a VH1 reality show titled 718 Makeover. The 718 in the title is the area code for Brooklyn, where she grew up. The show did not make it to air.

2005–2008: Prison, The Naked Truth and Ms. G.O.A.T

Lil' Kim crop
Lil' Kim performing at Way Out West festival, 2008

Lil' Kim released her fourth album, The Naked Truth, on September 27, 2005, while serving a federal prison sentence. It earned her a 5 mic rating from The Source, making her the only female rapper to ever receive a 5 mic rating. The album debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 109,000 copies in its first week of release, giving Lil' Kim her third top 10 debut on the chart. The Naked Truth did not sell as well as her previous works, it only managed to reach a gold certification by RIAA. She said that her prison sentence left her with no time to promote the project.

The music video for The Naked Truth's first single, "Lighters Up," was number one on BET's 106 & Park for two weeks. "Lighters Up" was a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The single also reached number 67 on the German Single Chart, number 12 on the UK Top 75 and number 4 on the Finland Single Chart. The second single, "Whoa" was released on February 17, 2006. It reached number 22 on Airplay.

On March 9, 2006, BET premiered the show Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, which was filmed before Lil' Kim headed to prison. The show became the highest rated premiere in BET history, averaging 1.9 million viewers. In May 2006, Debbie Harry released a song in tribute to Lil' Kim called "Dirty and Deep" in protest of her conviction. The song was available for free from her official website. Dance Remixes, her first compilation album, was released on June 6, 2006. The album featured remixes of songs from The Naked Truth and Hard Core.

A limited pressing released only in the US, it received no promotion, due to Lil' Kim being in prison at the time of release, and failed to chart. On August 31, 2006, Lil' Kim presented the award for Best Male Video at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, it marked her first televised appearance since being released from prison. She also made appearances on the show The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll and Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious in 2007 and 2008 as a judge.

In January 2008, Lil' Kim announced that she had parted ways with Atlantic Records, choosing to release future projects independently. She stated she had no hard feelings toward Atlantic, but felt comfortable enough with her knowledge of the music business to do it alone. Lil' Kim released her first mixtape, Ms. G.O.A.T., an acronym for "Greatest of All Time," on June 3, 2008. It was produced by New York City DJs Mister Cee and DJ Whoo Kid. Among critics, the mixtape received generally positive reviews. It has been called a representation of Lil' Kim's return to the streets. Tito Salinas of All Hip Hop says "Lil' Kim shows that her time behind bars did not rust all of her swag away" on Ms. G.O.A.T. On the other hand, Ehren Gresehover of New York Mag says that although one of the tracks "The Miseducation of Lil' Kim" is not bad, he wished it was Lauryn Hill making a comeback instead.

2009–2011: Dancing with the Stars and Black Friday

On March 10, 2009, the song "Girls" by Korean singer Seven featuring Lil' Kim was released through digital stores as his U.S. debut single. Lil' Kim appeared in the music video that was released on the same day. "Girls" was produced by Darkchild. On March 24, 2009, she released the song "Download" featuring R&B singers T-Pain and Charlie Wilson. It was written by Lil' Kim and T-Pain and produced by Trackmasters. The song samples "Computer Love" by Zapp. Although it missed the Hot 100, it did chart on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 21.

Lil' Kim appeared on the eighth season of reality series Dancing with the Stars, which began airing on March 9, 2009. She was paired with professional dancer Derek Hough. They were eliminated on May 5, 2009, against Ty Murray and his partner Chelsie Hightower, putting Lil' Kim at fifth place among all thirteen contestants that season. Her elimination was met by many boos from the audience, as she was a consistent high-scorer and fan favorite.

In June 2010, Lil' Kim started her 2010 Tour, her first headlining tour since 2000. It took her across the US, as well as Canada and Europe.

Lil' Kim released her second mixtape, Black Friday, on February 14, 2011. The video for the title track was released on February 16, 2011. The mixtape received mostly negative reviews from critics. It was made available for purchase via PayPal. In May 2011, Lil' Kim performed in South Africa as part of the music festival ZarFest alongside Fat Joe, Timbaland, and Ciara.

On June 19, 2011, Lil' Kim performed alongside G-Unit member Shawty Lo and hinted a possible working relationship with G-Unit Records. That same month the song Lil' Kim, along with Rick Ross, was featured on titled "Anything (To Find You)," by R&B singer Monica was leaked. The song, which samples the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Who Shot Ya?," initially featured just Lil' Kim, but her second verse was removed to make room for Ross. Her vocals were then removed fully due to contractual issues with B.I.G.'s estate.

In August 2011, Lil' Kim performed four dates in Australia as part of the WinterBeatz Festival alongside Fabolous, Mario, 50 Cent and G-Unit. During the August, 17 date in Perth, she joined 50 Cent on stage for a performance of "Magic Stick." It marked the first time the pair had performed the song together. On November 28, 2011, Lil' Kim released a buzz single called "I Am Not the One." She also announced that she would release an EP, but it was later shelved for unknown reasons.

2012–2016: Hard Core mixtape and Lil Kim Season

In the summer of 2011, Lil' Kim began recording material for her fifth studio album. She had previously been under a restriction banning her from releasing new material as a result of her settlement with Trackmasters, but it had now been lifted. On Valentine's Day 2012, Lil' Kim released the song "If You Love Me" produced by Prince Saheb of Knockout Entertainment as a gift to her fans. That same month, it was announced she would make her return to the stage on BET's Rip the Runway. It marked her first televised performance in years.

In March 2012, during an interview with MTV's Sucker Free, Lil' Kim revealed that contract issues with production duo Trackmasters were the reason behind her album delay, saying ."..contractually, by the courts, I could not record any music – I wasn't supposed to put any music out." On March 23, 2012, the song "Keys to the City," a collaboration with Young Jeezy, was leaked to the Internet. Lil' Kim first mentioned the song during an interview with MTV's RapFix, saying "I have a song with another celebrity person that I know the world and my fans are gonna love... It's vintage Kim mixed with the new Kim." During the same RapFix interview, Lil' Kim also revealed another song, titled "I'm Ready," which she hopes to do with rapper 50 Cent. Lil' Kim also commented on the direction of her music, saying she was in "Kanye West mode," adding ."..You do whatever you want to do's all about taking chances." Lil' Kim kicked off her Return of the Queen Tour on May 17, 2012, to positive reviews.

In a radio interview at Miami's 99 Jamz, Lil' Kim stated that her book, The Price of Loyalty, was on hold to coincide with the release of her new album. During an interview with XXL on April 26, 2013, she revealed that she does not have a name for the album yet, but the first official single would be out by mid year. Lil' Kim described the single, produced by Bangladesh, as "different" and "sweet dessert." On July 11, 2013, Lil' Kim released the Rockwilder-produced single "Looks Like Money" as a free download for her fans on her birthday.

On July 26, 2013, Lil' Kim announced and released the cover art for a new mixtape, Hard Core 2K13, which would also serve as a sequel to her critically acclaimed debut album, Hard Core. The mixtape was originally set to be released on October 31, 2013, but for then unknown reasons, was pushed back. To make up for not releasing the mixtape, Lil' Kim released the singles "Dead Gal Walking" and "Kimmy Blanco" to the public, along with the track list. The track list revealed collaborations with French Montana, Miley Cyrus, Jadakiss, and Yo Gotti.

On August 2, 2014, Lil' Kim announced via her Twitter page that she would launch a concert tour to promote her forthcoming Hard Core Mixtape. Throughout the remainder of August, Lil' Kim released a number of remixes to popular songs, including Beyoncé's and Nicki Minaj's collaboration on "Flawless," seemingly as a diss to Minaj, reigniting the feud between the two rappers.

On September 11, 2014, the Hard Core mixtape was released as free download on Kim's official website. In an interview with Revolt TV on the same day, she revealed that she, Iggy Azalea, and T.I. would collaborate on a song sometime in the future, saying "I don't know if it's going to be for my album or if we're just going to…we have other plans for it as well. But, I think we're going to do a double release."

In 2016, her fourth mixtape Lil Kim Season was released. On the mixtape, she freestyles over several popular beats, Drake's "Summer Sixteen," Rihanna's "Work," and Desiigner's "Panda." It received mixed reviews from critics. Jen Yamato from The Daily Beast wrote, "if anything, Lil Kim Season indicates that Kim's got her sights set on returning in a big way—and that she's collecting collaborators who might help her achieve it."

2017–present: Girls Cruise and 9

In February 2017, Lil' Kim announced via her Instagram and an interview that she was working on a new album. Singer Faith Evans featured her on the song "Lovin You for Life" on the album The King & I, released on May 19, 2017. That same month, Lil' Kim along with Eve and Trina was featured on the remix of "I'm Better" by Missy Elliott. In November, Lil' Kim released a promotional single "Took Us a Break," and was featured on the song "Wake Me Up" by rapper Remy Ma. In March 2018, Lil' Kim released another promotional single, "Spicy," featuring rapper Fabolous.

On July 11, 2018, Lil' Kim released the single "Nasty One" from her highly anticipated album, but ultimately the track was not included on the album. That same day during an interview with Billboard, she said the album would be released in November of that year. A remix for the single was released on October 26, 2018, and featured Kranium, HoodCelebrityy, and Stefflon Don.

In September 2018, she announced that the debut single for her album "Go Awff" would be released at a later date. The song was eventually released on February 15, 2019. That same month, Kim was spotted in Barbados with fellow hip hop stars Mýa and Chilli, friends Char DeFrancesco (husband to Marc Jacobs and one of Kim's best friends) and Tiffany, as well as MTV personalities Pretty Vee and B. Simone from MTV's Wild 'n Out.

It was later revealed that this was part of a VH1 reality show, Girls Cruise, for which Kim would serve as an executive producer. The show followed the group as they set sail to embark on a 10-day cruise in the Caribbean, visiting the countries of Barbados and Trinidad just in time for Carnival festivities. It also documented the group's bonding and new friendships with one another. The show premiered on July 15 with approximately 1.2 million viewers and ran for 11 episodes. It is unclear if there will be another season of the series.

In March 2019, Kim revealed that her new album would be titled 9 and added "There's a lot of meaning behind that." Later that month, she announced that the album would be released on May 17, 2019. After a minor setback with her record label, eOne Music, that caused the album not be released on the original planned date, the project was postponed. On September 27, 2019, Kim released a second single, "Found You," featuring City Girls and O.T. Genasis. The album later became available for pre-order on all digital-download platforms on October 4, 2019 (along with the track "Pray For Me" featuring Rick Ross and Musiq Soulchild), with a release date of October 11, 2019.

Upon its first week of release, the album charted on the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap Album Sales, Digital Albums, Top Albums Sales, Independent Albums and Rap Album Sales. However, the album failed to chart on the Billboard 200 due to selling less than 1,000 copies, and no song from the album landed on the Hot 100 or Bubbling Under. During one of the reunion episodes for Girls Cruise, Kim revealed that the album would be a two-part project, stating "I recorded so many songs. I have a part one and a part two." She also shared that her co-star, the Instagram comedian Vena "Pretty Vee" Excell, would appear on the record.

In October 2019, Kim revealed that she would collaborate with Missy Elliott and Paris Hilton on the follow-up to 9. In an interview with New York Radio 103.9, Kim confirmed that the City Girls would be involved with the follow-up to 9. She also stated that she would "love" to have Pretty Vee host her tour. On her November 8, 2019 appearance on The Real, Kim again confirmed that Paris Hilton and Missy Elliott would appear on 9's follow-up; she said the song "sounds like a classic Missy Elliott record but 'now.'"(1:20)


Lil' Kim cited as her rap influences MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa and Roxanne Shanté. She was also influenced by Slick Rick, The Notorious B.I.G., Eric B. & Rakim, Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige. Lil' Kim also cited Madonna as an influence, saying she modeled her own career on Madonna's, and labeling herself as the "Black Madonna."

Products and endorsements

In 1998, Lil' Kim signed with Wilhelmina Models. That same year, she was announced as the face for the fashion brand Candie's alongside Brandy. She became the first and only rapper to endorse the brand to date. In 2000, Lil' Kim signed a deal with fashion house Iceberg, and also with cosmetics brand MAC to help endorse their VIVA GLAM line of lipsticks and lip glosses alongside Mary J. Blige.

The MAC VIVA GLAM III campaign, which was built around a plum-brown lipstick, helped raise $4 million for the company in one year and became the most successful VIVA GLAM campaign to date. Due to the success, the two signed on for a second year. The rapper also modeled for the urban fashion line Baby Phat in August 2000. In March 2001, Lil' Kim, along with several other artists, were in an Apple Mac computer commercial, demonstrating how to burn custom CDs on a Mac.

In 2004, she launched a designer watch collection with manufacturer and jeweler Jeweler Jacob Arabo, Royalty by Lil' Kim. She also debuted her first clothing line, Hollyhood. She lent her voice to the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY, in which she was featured. In 2005, she collaborated on a shoe line with high-end brand Petite Peton. That same year, she appeared as a character in the limited-edition comic book "The Heist," a collaboration between Marvel and Atlantic Records.


In 2000, Lil' Kim embarked on a promo tour for her second studio album, The Notorious K.I.M., and the MAC AIDS Fund. She visited MAC cosmetics counters, interacted with fans, and helped raise money and awareness for people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. She took part in MAC's Fashion Cares show in Toronto, Canada, raising close to one million for its AIDS committee. Her endorsement of MAC, with Mary J. Blige, raised $4 million for the fund.

In October 2001, Lil' Kim was featured on the R&B mix of the song "What's Going On." She, along with several other popular recording artists, released the song as "Artists Against AIDS Worldwide," with proceeds going to AIDS programs worldwide and also the September 11th Fund of the United Way. That same month, Lil' Kim performed at Breathe, a benefit concert for breast cancer research and treatment.

On March 12, 2002, Lil' Kim walked her dogs in the 3rd annual "Paws for Style" fashion show. The event is held by Animal Fair magazine as a benefit for the Humane Society of New York. Items worn by the animals were later auctioned off online. In 2004 she launched her own foundation called Lil' Kim Cares. The foundation raises funds, resources and awareness for national programs that assist with issues such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, transitional living, child neglect, and violence against women.

Speaking of the foundation, Lil' Kim stated she planned to be primarily involved in causes that had affected her personally. On April 17, 2004, she participated in the 28th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The event helped raise more than $100,000 for "Racing for Kids," a non-profit program benefiting Southern California children's hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County. On August 24, 2004, Lil' Kim encouraged others to vote in the United States presidential election through the Rock the Vote campaign.

On March 10, 2005, Lil' Kim, along with several other artists, appeared in an episode of The Apprentice. Each artist was approached by contestants to donate a "personal experience" to be auctioned off for charity through music channel Fuse's "Daily Download" program, with proceeds going to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. In September 2005, she teamed with fashion designer Marc Jacobs for a limited edition T-shirt line featuring images of the rapper. Marc Jacobs Loves Lil' Kim was sold exclusively at Marc Jacobs stores, with 100% of the proceeds going to a charity called The Door.

In 2005 Lil' Kim donated a diamond watch from her "Royalty" line to the World AIDS Day eBay auction, "Bid 2 Beat AIDS." Proceeds went to LIFEbeat, an organization providing HIV/AIDS information to millions of young people annually. Through her foundation, Lil' Kim has given back to many, including teaming up with apparel company Mitchell & Ness and boxer Zab Judah to donate toys to underprivileged youth in Philadelphia in 2005, and joining MusiCares in 2007 for a silent auction, held at the Grammys On The Hill ceremony, to help raise funds for the foundation.

In 2007 Lil' Kim was a part of the 4th Annual Grammy Charity Holiday Auction, featuring a large variety of celebrity-signed memorabilia that people could bid on through eBay. On December 1, 2007, Lil' Kim partnered with Preserve Our Legacy and the New Jersey Stem Cell Research and Education Foundation to host a celebrity basketball game to raise awareness about various health issues plaguing minority communities.

On July 11, 2010, Lil' Kim launched her signature milkshake, the "Queen Bee," at Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood, with proceeds going towards Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti Foundation. On February 9, 2013, she took part in the first annual Reality On The Runway fashion show. The event helped raise $300,000 for people infected with HIV/AIDS and increase awareness. All designs from the show were auctioned off online following the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to AIDS United.

Lil' Kim has been a longtime LGBT advocate, and has participated in many gay pride festivals, including the LGBT Pride March in New York City, as well as performing at Atlanta Black Pride and D.C. Black Pride.

Personal life

In her teens, Jones dated Shawn Powell. After a couple of months of seeing each other, Powell was arrested for robbery and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. The couple became engaged while Powell was incarcerated.

During this time, Jones met Christopher Wallace (The Notorious B.I.G.). She focused on starting her rap career and called off the engagement with Powell.

In 2002, Jones started dating Damion "World" Hardy. The couple split in 2003.

In 2004, Jones dated record producer Scott Storch, whom she met when he offered her a ride to her hotel. The couple split after two months. In 2007, Jones and Ray J briefly dated.

In July 2005, Lil' Kim was sentenced to one year in prison, thirty days' home detention upon release from custody, and three years of probation. She was released on July 3, 2006, after serving approximately 12 months.

On June 9, 2014, Jones gave birth to a daughter.

Jones identifies as a Christian.


Several media outlets have referred to Lil' Kim as the "Queen of Rap," and by the alias she uses, "Queen Bee." Newsweek has called her the "First Lady of Rap."

During that time, several new female hip hop artists modeled themselves after her stylistically.

Aside from music, Lil' Kim is also known for a luxurious approach to fashion that has inspired many artists. She has been named as a fashion icon by various media outlets. Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley called her "the black Madonna." Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Versace, and Giorgio Armani have credited Lil' Kim as an inspiration. In 2020, XXL wrote that "twenty-five years later, no rapper is more influential to the new female rhymers."

Some artists who have named Kim as influence include Rihanna, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Kash Doll, Bree Runway, Teyana Taylor, Doja Cat, Rosalía, Hitmaka, Casanova, Spice, Zaytoven, Stefflon Don, Flo Milli, Nicki Minaj, Ivorian Doll, Cupcakke, Saweetie, Ice Spice, Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea, Ms Banks, Lola Brooke, Jhené Aiko, City Girls, DreamDoll, and Erica Banks. Actress Taraji P. Henson said that Lil' Kim inspired her portrayal of Empire character Cookie Lyon.

Awards and nominations

Throughout her career, Lil' Kim has earned numerous honors and awards. Her debut Hard Core was certified double platinum by the RIAA, and is considered a classic hip-hop album. As of 2007, Lil' Kim has sold over 15 million albums worldwide. Her songs "No Time," "Big Momma Thang" and "Ladies Night" were listed on Complex Magazine's "The 50 Best Rap Songs By Women," at number 24, 13, and 7, respectively. Her song "Lady Marmalade" with Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Mýa, is one of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide, with sales of over 5.1 million worldwide. Lady Marmalade went number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, making her one of only a few female rappers to have a number one on that chart. The song won a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals."

Lil' Kim was ranked as one of the top 50 greatest MCs of all time in Kool Moe Dee's 2003 book, There's a God on the Mic. In 2012, Lil' Kim was honorably listed on VH1's "100 Greatest Women In Music" at number 45, placing her in the fourth highest position for a female rapper. In 2014, she was included in Billboard's list of the "31 Female Rappers Who Changed Hip-Hop." In 2016, VH1 honored Lil' Kim with VH1 Hip-Hop Honors and WEEN Award honored Kim with Icon Award because of her contribution to hip hop.

In June 2018, Lil' Kim was honored with a proclamation by the New York City Council's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC) as part of the annual African-American Music Appreciation Month for her contributions to hip-hop. Along with the proclamation, she also accepted the New York City 12th Council District Arts and Music Award and the city's Power Of Influence Award. In 2019, Lil' Kim was honored by BET Hip Hop Awards with the I Am Hip Hop Award.


Studio albums

  • Hard Core (1996)
  • The Notorious K.I.M. (2000)
  • La Bella Mafia (2003)
  • The Naked Truth (2005)
  • 9 (2019)

Collaboration albums

  • Conspiracy with Junior M.A.F.I.A. (1995)



  • The Notorious K.I.M. Tour (2000)
  • 2010 Tour (2010)
  • Return of the Queen Tour (2012)

Joint tours

  • No Way Out Tour (with Puff Daddy & The Family) (1997–1998)
  • Winterbeatz Australia (with Fabolous, Mario, 50 Cent and G-Unit) (2011)
  • Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour (2016)

Music videos

Year Title Artist
1988 "Teenage Love" Slick Rick
1996 "Floatin' On Your Love" The Isley Brothers featuring Angela Winbush
"If Your Girl Only Knew" Aaliyah
1997 "Hot Like Fire"
"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" Missy Elliott
2002 "Miss You" Aaliyah
"Go Head" Queen Latifah
2003 "These Days" Alien Ant Farm
2005 "Rumors" Maino
2012 "Everywhere We Go" French Montana & Wale
2019 "The Golden Child" Papoose & Remy Ma & Angelica Vila

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Lil' Kim para niños

  • Honorific nicknames in popular music
  • List of artists who reached number one in the United States
  • List of Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles of 2001
  • Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2001
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