Nicki Minaj

Thursday, August 2, Wells Fargo Theatre, 303-830-8497.

Before the booms of her massive hip-pop single "Super Bass," released in May 2011, became the summer's most infectious crossover hit, Nicki Minaj was known for her aggressive flow as a featured player on songs by Usher, Trey Songz and Ludacris. She also sang the chorus on the standout track from Lil Wayne's failed attempt at a rock album and opened for Britney Spears's 2011 world tour. Now, just over two years since she released her first single, "Massive Attack," as a lead artist, Minaj's dues have paid off: She has a devout following, known as "Barbz," to her name, as well as two number-one albums and one wild single called "Starships." Musical success notwithstanding, Minaj — with her many wigs — has stayed true to her theatrical roots from her childhood in Queens, so don't expect anything less than a spectacle for her first headlining tour.

 
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