Lynette Holloway
Nicki Minaj in 2014

Saying she was “honored and excited,” rapper and songwriter Nicki Minaj announced that a cast has been selected for her new ABC Family series.

“I am honored and excited to announce that I’ve literally hand picked the main characters of my scripted series,” Minaj, 33, wrote Friday on Instagram.


Ariana Neal will portray Minaj in her early years, and Whoopi Goldberg will guest-star as Nicki’s neighbor Miss Martha, according to CNN.

The series will be based on Minaj’s childhood, including her family’s migration from Trinidad in the 1990s, and being raised in Queens, N.Y.

Other cast members include Selita Ebanks, of the Real Husbands of Hollywood, who will play the role of Grace, Minaj’s mother; McCarrie McCausland, of Army Wives and The Originals, has been cast as Jaylen, Nicki’s older brother; and Wesley Jonathan, of The Soul Man, will play Vincent, Minaj and Jaylen’s father.

Shooting for the show begins in January, with an air date to be determined, according to CNN.


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Lynette Holloway is a contributing editor at The Root. The New York-based writer is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor at Ebony magazine.

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